Business and Operations
Trouble brewing in workforce, says social media expert
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
September 22, 2009, Vancouver – Social
media expert Tod Maffin says companies are about to face a mass exodus of
employees due to a kind of perfect storm brewing within two key generations of
"With the Baby Boomers set to retire
en masse, companies are going to have to find ways to replace them with younger
employees," says Maffin in a news release. "But that particular crop
of employees – the 'Facebook Generation' – is as likely to walk out the back
door as easily as they came in the front."
"The first wave of employers to
experience that kind of laissez-faire attitude was the service-driven
industries – such as fast food restaurants – who were literally having to close
their facilities at times because they couldn't find and retain enough young
workers to flip burgers and serve customers,” he adds.
Maffin says these 20-something employees
present an entirely new set of challenges for employers – and that companies
need to take an entirely new approach to managing their needs and retaining
Here are Maffin's top five tips on how to
Give Them Your Trust: Young people born
between 1980 and 1990 were raised by Generation X parents who gave them
unprecedented levels of trust. Misguided attempts at increasing productivity,
like blocking Facebook and instant-messenger programs, scream "We don't
trust you!" to this group of workers (it's like blocking telephone calls).
Focus on Team-Based Solutions: That's the
way they were taught all through school – it was all about group projects, not
individual reports. Engage them in group projects and let them play an active
role in that process. Consider giving them a box of their own personalized
business cards on day one.
Skip the Annual Review: Generation Y
requires instant feedback – don't worry, they can take criticism, as long as
it's justified, immediate, and gives them an opportunity to work on correcting
bad habits or misguided efforts.
Nix the Coffee Breaks: Eliminate scheduled
breaks entirely. Let them take breaks when they feel they need it. Given this
level of trust, most generation-Y workers will return the favor in spades by
devoting extra time at work, often unpaid.
Invest in Technology: Your technology must
at least keep pace with what this generation uses at home. That doesn't
necessarily mean the latest bleeding-edge turbo-machines, but a patched-up
computer from the secretary pool won't cut it.