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What can GenY teach you?

What can GenY teach you?

understanding how to embrace and engage GenY in the workplace, and in life.

understanding how to embrace and engage GenY in the workplace, and in life.

Recently, I read Millennial Momentum by Winograd and Hais (2011) and I feel so much more hopeful and positive about what this generation is going to contribute to our society, and already is. I highly recommend this book to every person in the corporate world, especially leaders and managers who find working with GenY employees to be frustrating. This will open your eyes and point you toward what you can do to embrace their energy for change.

Millennials are also referred to as GenY, and are the youngest generation in the workforce and still to enter the workforce. They were born between 1982 – 2003 so they are currently aged 31 years to 10 years. Even the youngest are making contributions. I recently heard a 12 year old girl speak who is an advocate for children’s rights. I asked her when her passion for helping kids began and she said at age 3, when the Tsunami hit in Thailand and she saw it on television. She was so affected that she wanted to give toys to the children who had been left behind. And she gathered toys from her friends. All this at age 3!  And she is not alone. This generation has a global mindset because they’ve grown up with the internet. The vast majority don’t see ethnicity or gender. They see people.

This book is based on research and factual data, yet it is easily digestible because of the references to events that we can relate to. Below are a few of the many quotes from the book that I’ve highlighted:

“Finding the right mix between providing strategic direction and encouraging learning and growth within an organization, while still providing workers the freedom they need to produce great outcomes, remains the biggest leadership challenge facing anyone seeking to harness the energy and enthusiasm of Millennials. The answer for all leaders is to use vision and values to provide a clear sense of direction for everyone in the organization while providing each person freedom to pursue their own aspirations within that context.”

“Introducing more transparent, shared, and even visual technology will not by itself build trust. Instead, leaders in the Millennial era will need to learn how to create a culture that makes interacting with their organization, for both employees and customers, more of a cause than an economic necessity.”

“Millennials have a strong desire to find meaning in all their transactions, whether it is in buying an eco-friendly product or in agreeing to go to work for a particular company. 88% of Millennials rated the “opportunity to have an impact on the world” as an important consideration in choosing an employer (Institute of Politics 2010). That’s why the State Dept, the FBI, the Peace Corps, NASA, and Teach for America made up half of Millennial’s top ten list of ideal employers in 2009.”

“Envisioning America in 2040. In 2004, after a frustrating experience that found them knocking on doors but not being asked to contribute ideas to the presidential campaign, a few college students decided to form the first think tank run by and for Millennials. By 2010, more than 8,000 Millennials had become involved in one of the 86 chapters of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network across the country. In March 2010, the group launched its Think 2040 project. Refer to www.think2040.org.”


I work with managers and leaders who often express frustration at the mindset/attitude of GenY employees. This book will give you so many insights and if you embrace the research and data, you will be given clear clues as to how to engage them. but this comes with a warning; you will likely need to shift your mindset/attitude in order to harness their energy and enthusiasm.




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