The Province - November 21, 2007
Millennials on the move
'Communications gap' holding back Net Gen
Wendy McLellan, The Province
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2007
They don't appreciate the business model where the person at the top of the pyramid rules. They've been multi-tasking since kindergarten and they prefer their computers to TV.
They also have a lot to offer employers willing to consider what Generation Y can offer, rather than complaining about their differences, according to youth marketing consultant Jennifer Corriero.
"There are many negative perceptions of the Net Generation, and sometimes, if we have negative assumptions, people live up to them," Corriero told delegates yesterday at a conference for B.C.'s hospitality industry.
Generation Y, also called the Millennials or the Net Generation, are those people born between 1978 and 1999. They may be making the workplace a little uncomfortable for older generations, but they can also help employers stay connected in the increasingly wired -- and wireless -- world.
"Age shouldn't be a factor in the workplace," said Corriero, 27. "There should be a culture of respecting the experiences of everyone, regardless of age."
Based in Toronto, Corriero is one of the founders of the non-profit TakingITGlobal, a youth-oriented networking site.
She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2004 and has worked as a consultant for Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Nike and participates in conferences all over the world.
She said young workers work better in teams and expect to be involved in decision-making no matter what their position is within an organization.
"Some see this as an attitude problem, but I prefer to think of it as a communication gap," she said.
Employers should ensure young workers are included in committees and meetings so they can share their expertise in networking and technology.
They should also encourage these workers to participate in special projects and informal advisory groups so they don't feel stuck in one job.
Young workers also are valuable assets for blogging, website development and monitoring their employers' digital profile. "I would like employers to see the young as inspired," Corriero said. "I would like to them help the young live out their dreams and cultivate their skills to improve the world and the workplace."