Additionally, “It’s always important to make sure they feel valued and that their voice is heard,” Mr. Walter says. “Provide them with regular feedback.” But they prefer that e-mails and in-person conversations be short and to the point.
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Gen Xers, who were born between 1965 and 1976, are more likely to express an opinion without being asked than the two earlier generations, Dr. Blair notes, but they are slightly more reticent at doing so than millennials. They prefer to be asked in person for their assistance and input.
On the other hand, generation Y, also known as millennials, was practically born with smartphones in their hands and grew up using computers, having been born between 1977 and 1995.
“However, they are in a stage where they are always trying to prove themselves to older generations,” Mr. Walter says. “They appreciate being challenged, but will resent anyone who talks down to them. They desire to be treated like an equal in the workplace, not as a child. As a generation, they want be recognized in the workplace for their areas of responsibility.”
“The best approach for communicating with generations Y and Z, is to talk with these employees daily, bringing them along through training to learn how to operate in a practice,” Dr. Blair says. “Also, they crave one-on-one assessment and feedback.”
To work well with this group, be prepared to explain your thinking. “They’ll question you if you don’t,” Ms. Zabriskie says. “This group is also future focused. They want to know what you see for their future and the development opportunities available to them. This group is not known for its patience, so don’t be surprised when they ask for a promotion six months into a job. Manage expectations early.”
Generation Y prefers e-mail communication and texting; but don’t be too formal.
“They seek fun in the work environment,” Mr. Walter says.
Although Generation Z—which was born 1996 and later—was born surrounded by all the latest and greatest technologies, they actually crave some face-to-face communication. “Although social media and other technologies help feed their need for visuals, face-to-face communication fills their need for authenticity,” Mr. Walter says.
Also, because they grew up with gen X parents, who often worked full-time and switched careers a few times, they understand the importance of staying relevant by continuing to learn and proving themselves in the workplace. Being the youngest generation in the workforce, this generation is well aware that it has a lot to learn and can benefit from mentoring.