GenY! Supervision?

Is holding onto GenY about the “right” supervision for GenY? Can GenY be actually supervised in the traditional sense? Is GenY about room to do? What one wants and how one wants? Is GenY much more articulate and impatient than their predecessors? Many questions. I remain in thought. Three years into the reckoning of my professional life, the answer to me is to take the traditional supervision approach and evolve it into something new and fresh that is more responsive to today’s generation. And, very importantly, recognizing and responding to the needs of GenY may it be as a group or as individuals. 

Attitudes and approach to work today are different. Let’s face facts. The Japanese model of working with one organization from the start to the end of one’s professional career does not exist anymore, yet hiring firms today look for stable individuals. We see many youngsters jumping in and out of jobs. We find words of fun and play used wildly in their vocabularies - easy money! Their approach towards work is not entirely about being productive, so they don’t ‘live to work’ or ‘work to live’, but their approach to life is to ‘live’. 

A part of my profile is that of a recruiter, and to watch professionals from my own generation and younger age groups drop out of jobs, i.e., to quit a job at random or switch jobs at the drop of a hat in short spans of time is not unheard of. If you ask them about the reasons, some of them would say ‘because of my supervisor’, ‘I am bored’, ‘the place does not give me the exposure I want’ or ‘I am getting a better salary hike’. 

But mostly it is ‘because of my supervisor’. 

So, what can the supervisor’s do to understand this and respond to the changing scenario? I’d say, observe and do change a bit! GenY needs handholding on their terms. A paradox? If it be so then it is.

They definitely do need molding, but who wants to be told that from an outsider? They do want to learn, but by their own rules and in their own way. But then observe and change a bit – who are the people they trust and listen to the most? I’d say their friends. How do they communicate? BBM, SMS, facebook and 3G. What do they search for? Work areas that see quicker results in their own lexicon. Challenges though with a brief time window. Flexibility of response. What do they avoid? The normatives. Of time. Of dress codes. Of behavior codes. What don’t they get? This whole business of working very hard for a living. The whole business of necessarily respecting wisdom of age. Maybe it’s about partying hard and working hard. But both go together and weekends are mine.

Oh well! There’s more to this.

Feel free to share your views, for all you know it may result in change, and aid companies in their retention efforts and you. Looking forward to your views.

Sneha Iyengar, Sector Access