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Developing a Gen Y Coaching Culture

By September 13, 2012April 22nd, 2024Uncategorized

From the insights we blogged in our summer series of Gen Y (millennial) research findings, we have continued to endorse coaching as a powerful way to facilitate the professional growth of Gen Y or Millennials who are new to the Canadian workforce. But are there any specific approaches to mentoring Gen Y workers? What can Canadian employers do to effectively retain and develop this non-homogenous group of ambitious, tech-savvy employees?

Our Vice President, Donna Smith, knows firsthand the positive effects that come from coaching. Donna has lead numerous workshops on developing a coaching culture in organizations, becoming a subject matter expert and thought leader in the field. We sat down with Donna to get her top tips on managing the expectations of new Gen Y employees through effective coaching and onboarding strategies.

1)      Do Not ‘Over Promise and Under Deliver’

Gen Y spends the majority of their job-seeking efforts looking through online job postings. Before you are ready to hire, focus on creating a clear, succinct job description. If a relationship with a Gen Y employee is built on clear expectations and not on false pretenses, it creates a platform for the mentor to have the best possible impact on that employee.

2)      Create a Development Plan for Employees

During the Interview Phase is a great time for employers to identify strengths and weaknesses in a new employee. Starting early allows you to learn what skills can be leveraged, while offering the opportunity to identify and focus on growth areas in an employee development plan.

3)      Orientation

As a best practice in onboarding, structured orientation should include the four ‘Building Blocks’ that continue to be the foundation of Career Edge Organization’s internship model:

i.      Coaching + Mentoring

ii.      Building a professional network

iii.      Sharing knowledge about the role and the industry

iv.      Providing learning opportunities and experiences

4)      Feedback

Particularly with Gen Y, feedback has come from teachers as a one-way discourse, and parents as positive reinforcement. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your employee how feedback works in a professional environment. Ongoing, informal, as well as structured, scheduled feedback coming from both positive and constructive sides is necessary when developing any new member of the team.  An even balance of praise and criticism will help Gen Y continue to learn and improve in their role.

When coaching, the goal is to foster overall professional growth, but be careful not to discount the technical skills, fresh ideas, and recently developed theory that Gen Y bring to their roles. Creating a two-way mentor-mentee dialogue will ultimately result in both parties learning something new!

We want to know what you do to harness the motivations of Gen Y workers in your organization! Leave a comment here or tweet us @CareerEdgeOrg.