the special generation


I recently read an interesting article in the Huffington Post talking about the GYPSY generation. This is the Gen-Y yuppie. Now, you might be thinking Sal, why the hell should this matter to me? Well, if you are growing your business, working with Seniors, or Families, or Wedding clients – you are more than likely dealing with a Gen-Y child.

The article interestingly points out that this generation has been coddled most of their life and told how special they are. This is creating a major disconnect once they reach the real world where no one cares how special they think they are. It’s at this moment, they must realize that rewards come from hard work, not the promise of hard work.

This is a topic that is near and dear to me at the moment. As a business, we are growing and adding staff. Recently, we hired someone fresh out of college. They seemed like the perfect fit – great energy, wanted more than just an entry level job, wanted to be part of something bigger, an all around good person. We were stoked! However, soon, we saw a disconnect between the conversations during the interview and the on the job performance. They would do the least amount of work possible to get by – no more no less. While other employees were working to do whatever it took to get the job done, this employee always had something else that needed to be done. In one case, we had them working on a task that had to happen by end of day. 5:05 pm came and they were gone, but didn’t update us on the important task we had assigned them. 5:06pm we called to get an update. No answer. We text-ed. No answer. Now, you might be thinking, well maybe their battery died. That would be fine if there wasn’t a pattern of “getting by” already in place. And the reality is, this is not the behavior of someone who is looking to prove themselves, go further in a company, or take more responsibility. This is someone looking to do the minimum to get by.

I realized how bad this was when 3 of my other staff started complaining that they couldn’t get their workload done because they were at capacity. I was shocked to hear this so I asked, well what are you working on that’s overloading you. 25%-30% of the tasks were the tasks of this new employee, but my team refused to hand them over because they either weren’t getting done right or in a timely fashion. This was overburdening my team and creating a very frustrating environment for the rest of the team.

Knowing this, I intentionally started overloading this employee, giving them the work they should have been doing all along. Within a week of this work, they quit. That was incredible for me to see. Reading this article really opened my eyes to the disconnect with Gen-Y in understanding that success is not guaranteed. You work hard and the rewards will follow, not the other way around. We are not entitled to a great job or career, we have to go out there and earn it through hard work, failure, perseverance, and time.

So, what’s the lesson learned in all this? I would definitely encourage you to read the article in full at the HuffingtonPost

From my perspective, I am going to take some of that advice in the article to heart. First, I feel as though my team failed by covering up another team members weaknesses. A team is only as strong as its weakest link. There should have been more coaching on our end to see what, if anything, we could have done to get them back on track and closer to the goals they had expressed when we hired them along with the expectations we had communicated as well.

There are other implications as well. Not only is my current employee base Gen-Y, my brides and current client base are part of this same generation. We have to be aware of this when dealing with clients. I think its important to understand the culture, expectations, and overall mindset of our clients in order to better serve them.

What are your thoughts?



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