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I know I have blogged before that in my opinion, Gen Y  is no different than their older counterparts. Many are very hard working and very committed, but they want to choose what they commit to.

There is a bigger movement at hand – and that is Generation Why? – It is not, in fact, a generation as such more that people are really questioning the purpose of what they do – and what they do needs to align to their own personal value’s for them to be satisfied and engaged with their employer.

I heard recently of a candidate when interviewing for a large professional firm asked the question about the potential employer’s carbon footprint. The interviewer did not have a clear ‘green statement’ at hand, as such the candidate withdrew from the interview process and accepted a position in an organisation that does have a green statement.

This is not lip service – an organisation cannot ‘say it is green’ then act differently, this just won’t cut it. Actions must be 100% aligned with the values of an organisation otherwise they are meaningless. There are no tick boxes here.

The point is the business community is different now – we have moved on. People are looking for organisations that are not ‘just’ for profit.

I believe it is those organisations that offer flexibility will win. They will attract the best people, have the most engaged people and ultimately be the most profitable. It might be inconvenient but Happy People do make Happy Profits.

I like this definition by Eric Chester  – The Give a Damn Factor (another view of engagement), “An employee’s personal vested interest in the image, profits and long-term success of the place they work.”

Generation Why don’t want to be told what to do – they want to know the problem or the expected outcome – they want to figure out how to do it themselves. They want to know why they are doing something. They want to know more, continually develop, learn and be mentored.

Here is a Generation Why report card –  how we as leaders are being assessed. (according to Pals a fast growth US fast food company)

  • They know who I am?
  • They don’t play favourites
  • I’m always learning
  • I make important decisions
  • My ideas are taken seriously
  • I speak and they listen

How would you rate yourself as a Generation Why employer?

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