When was the last time you read a newspaper or journal article on the challenge of managing Gen Y employees? My totally subjective impression is that I come across one of these at least every couple of weeks. The articles I’m thinking of tend to offer advice, suggestions and tips, purporting to show managers how to manage these young people more effectively.

For a book-length treatment of the subject, there is among others Generation Y: Thriving and Surviving With Generation Y at Work. Author Peter Sheahan is a Gen Yer himself, and the book is free of the “us vs them” style of some of the articles I’ve read elsewhere.

For something more succinct and to go on with, there is a quick checklist, with explanations, which I see as lending itself to be given by a manager to a new Gen Y employee, and which could help establish a more productive, mutually respectful, engagement from the outset.

Todd Defren’s What I Wish My New Employee Knew is not specifically about Gen Y, but on reading it I saw it as providing valuable insights for Gen Y, or younger, people starting in a new firm. And for older but new employees. And of course for the managers.

The nine points are all good. A couple that appealed particularly to me:

  • I wish my new employee knew that Quality Counts.
  • I wish my new employee knew that it’s okay to screw-up sometimes.

What, from Todd’s full list or one of your own, would you wish a new employee, Gen Y or other, knew?

And should there be a special list for older, but new, employees?

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Des Walsh is a business coach and independent, confidential sounding board for business owners and entrepreneurs. A long term advocate of smart, risk-mitigating business use of technology and a certified social media strategist, he is well placed to support businesses in adapting to the rapid changes in the technological, business and social environments. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).

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