Dora the Explorer and Engaging Young Professionals

It’s a problem many employers face: how do you engage a younger workforce? How do you get a new generation – a generation that considers themselves “digital natives” interested in their jobs? Additionally, how do you get them to produce lasting results without forcing an iron hand?

In their 20’s and 30’s, Gen Y is now flooding the workforce and it’s up to employers to make the most out of the situation. By 2025, Gen Y will make up 75% of the workforce, so how are we going to manage them properly? Eric Chester thinks that Dora the Explorer may have the answer, and I’m inclined to agree. Here’s my summary:

Provide Direction

In today’s workplace, it’s all about goals. Where is the company going? How do employees tie in? Just like Dora, younger workers need motivation. They don’t want to feel like a “cog in the machine;” they want to feel like they matter. If you give your younger generation a reason to work hard, chances are they will. They just have to know their place in the overall mission.

Communicate

Beyond goals, employees need to be reminded of anything from company updates to what’s on the agenda for the week. Keep your younger workforce on track by opening up the lines of communication. Too often, managers can let important news slip away, which can lead to miscommunication, missed deadlines and loss of interest. Don’t let this happen. Keep your young workforce updated, which gives them the direction they need to work at their highest level.

Match Horses with Courses

Not everyone has the same skills, but that’s a good thing. What’s important is to do what you do well.

For instance, if one of your workers has a particular interest in web design, don’t put them on projects that require heavy writing. They won’t be interested and the work won’t be optimal. Conversely, if you put that same worker on a team that works on apps, they’ll not only be able to give substantial input, but they’ll also want to do the work, and want to do it well.