Welcome to Part 4 of this five-part series on recognition practices that work according to generational differences. So far, we’ve examined Matures, Baby Boomers, and Generation X. Today, we are going to take a close look at Generation Y and the very distinct preferences, values, and opinions they possess that tend to affect recognition success.Y It Matters…
Generation Y has at times been estimated to include over 70 million individuals, all born between 1980 and 1990. They are the largest generation, with only the Baby Boomer generation close on its heels. There’s quite a bit that sets these youngsters apart from generations before it, as you’ll see in these common characteristics:
- Family-centric. Gen Yers are very family-centric. While some say this generation is narcissistic, they actually just have different priorities than older generations, placing more emphasis on work-life balance than on the amount of billable hours they can submit.
- Team-focused. Unlike the generation just before them, these individuals are all about teamwork. They were raised playing on teams and staying socially engaged in playdates and group activities, so this is something they’ve carried over into their adult lives.
- Achievement-oriented. Members of this generation have been coddled and fostered throughout their lives, especially by their parents. They have been pushed to do a lot and achieve even more, so they have high expectations for themselves and their employers, seeking meaningful work above all else.
- Attention-craving. Because of the attention they’ve been given by their parents and others throughout childhood, Gen Yers are accustomed to attention and desire it.
Recognizing Generation Y
When faced with the task of recognizing a member of Generation Y, here are some tips:
- Recognize his or her involvement in, improvement of, or contribution to the family unit. If the family can be involved in the recognition, all the more better.
- Focus on the contribution to the team. This is something in which a Gen Yer takes much pride, so recognizing the group at the same time as the individual fits well into his or her belief system.
- As achievement-oriented individuals, it’s a good idea to be specific with recognition, naming exact contributions, talents, skills, etc., that warrants the occasion.
- You’ll find it easy to recognize a Gen Yer. They like attention and will welcome recognition of their efforts, especially in a public forum.
The perfect example of how to make this work for a Gen Yer is to feature him or her in a feature article in a magazine or newspaper, detailing the event, project, or occasion, and praising him or her openly for the contribution. If a team was involved, then it’s necessary to include details as such as well.
The Next Step
If you’ve had the distinct opportunity to recognize a Generation Y in a newspaper or magazine article, then take the next step by having it preserved in a custom article mount from That’s Great News. Working technology into the mix is easily accomplished as well, especially with the latest and greatest video plaques. With this breakthrough technology, you can mount video frames and include a unique QR code that provides a direct link to the original online video. Generation Y will love you for it.
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