How to make your company more Generation Y friendly

From tech mentors to working from home: here are five things to make your company appeal to the Generation Y in the workplace.

Many companies -- particularly small to medium sizes businesses -- are still not focusing their efforts on making their workplaces attractive to the Generation Y.

While it is clear that many Generation Y graduates are 'not workplace ready', it is partly down to companies to break in new employees into the world of work.

It isn't just about having lounging sofas and beanbags to sit on in the corner of the office. Nor is it the immediate availability of beer in the office fridge, or "bring your pet to work" day.

There are some serious issues at the very heart of the corporate atmosphere that many employers are not taking into account for their future workforce. They are your future workforce and frilly wage packets and healthy pension packages will not cut the mustard.

Image via Flickr.

There need to be changes to the very core of industry today, to not only keep with the times, but to entice in the younger Generation Y into the environments they expect.

1. Working from home is the new sliced bread.

It isn't just about being able to work from the comfort of your own home; it is more of a trust thing, between your employer and the employee.

Allowing your staff to work from home -- as many college students are used to, with many writing essays till the early morning in their study bedroom -- requires trust and mutual respect.

It boosts morale; it reduces workplace costs, and ultimately acts as a fine intermediary between college and work.

2. Tech mentors to ease in new recruits.

Every work environment is different. From CRM to ERP, enterprise tools can be tricky to use -- and the Generation Y on the most part has no interest in using them.

Just as one would need to gauge the mood before cracking a dark joke, the technological feel to a workplace can be daunting and unnerving.

To bridge the gap, 'middle ground' needs to be established between an experienced member of the team and the newcomer to overcome the teething problems, inevitably found, in the introduction of a new person to an older technology.

3. Listen to employee expectations at interview level.

It is not uncommon for students straight out of college -- an inexperienced lot -- not to ask any questions relating to employment at the interview level. If anything, employers want to hear what people think before they join the ranks of the work machine.

However, some do not -- and many prospective employees do not take the opportunity, or feel comfortable in asking questions. Just because it is the interview and feels like it is not in your favour does not mean you cannot negotiate terms. Interviews are just as much about you wanting the job, as them wanting to hire you.

4. Money isn't everything: respect is.

To be treated as an equal, even though one may not be one in the initial steps of new employment, is a key and crucial factor in making any newcomer to feel part of the corporate family.

It sounds corny enough, but it's true. Though managers will always reign over their minions, to be felt as part of the wider circles from the word go can really break any generational tension.

5. Invest in social, and leave social to the experts.

The Generation Y knows social best. They live and breathe social media, social networking and social interaction. Reaching out to the masses is something we only dream of as we mime into our hairbrushes in the morning.

Maybe just me then.

But while we are innately social media experts, it is not to say for one minute that we necessarily know how to handle the corporate spin, or how to deal with so many followers. It can go horribly wrong, and we need teaching how to handle rather than how to deal with.

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