June 10, 2010 / 10:29 AM / 9 years ago

How to work better with Gen Ys

Kate Moore (L) and Morgan Dynda of the U.S. compete in the LG Mobile Worldcup Texting Championship in New York in this January 14, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Working with someone from a different generation can be a challenging experience. Gen Ys can be particularly confusing to the generations before them. Here are three Gen Y characteristics and tips for how you can work with them, rather than against them:

1. They are immediate. This often comes off as impatience, but Gen Ys are used to things moving at a fast pace. Channel this energy into projects that are meaningful to them and need a flurry of activity to get accomplished.

2. They are informal. Gen Ys tend to be comfortable interacting with anyone at any level of the organization. Encourage this outreach but ask that they keep you updated about whom they’re talking to and on what topics.

3. They learn with others. To figure out a new task, Gen Ys often like to talk it through, sometimes with people from another unit or a different company. When the task is sensitive, set the rules that this is out of bounds. For other topics, recognize that this collaborative instinct is a good one and don’t discourage it even if it’s not your style.”

- Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Competing with Gen Y” on the “Ask the Expert: Tammy Erickson” board of the HBR Answer Exchange.

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