Tapping In To Young Talent

talent managementIn this post I want to revisit the topic of the challenges that business owners face when working with the younger workforce. Some research is suggesting that many (if not most) young adults are unhappy in their jobs. They are not finding in their careers what they long for. Their companies are not proving to be places of learning, growth, and personal fulfillment. Instead, they are finding cause for insecurity and diminished self-esteem. Much of this disillusionment and dissatisfaction is due to the fact that their worldview is vastly different from their middle-aged employers and managers. These employers and managers are part of the older generation called Baby Boomers, whereas these younger workers are part of a new generation of workers called Gen Y.  Each generation comes with its own set of attitudes and beliefs about their roles in the workplace. Unfortunately, these differences mean that Baby Boomers in supervisory roles do not always know how to motivate the younger generation.  These younger workers are looking for opportunities to invest their only capital, which is their creative energy. However, most Gen Y workers seem to be finding business owners and managers who are unwilling to underwrite the cultivation of their talent and careers. As a result, these younger workers often withhold their creative energy. They see their managers as unworthy trustees of this investment capital. Unfortunately, supervisors often perceive this withholding of energy as a sign that their younger workers are lazy or unmotivated. My encouragement to my clients is to study these younger workers. Gen Y workers are truly are a wealth of talent waiting to be developed. They value honest debate, authenticity, community, and the opportunity to be developed. Young adults are doing important work in important places all around the world. Though their work may look differently than traditional roles, they add immense value. As business leaders, let’s maximize their potential in our local businesses as well.

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