[caption id="attachment_1163" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="From www.postsecret.com"][/caption] Generations X and Y have gotten a bad rap in the workplace as a group that constantly needs attention and positive reinforcement. First of all, this is not a universal statement. Second of all, even if it is generally true, so what? Attention and positive reinforcement are not necessarily bad things but what they do require are new management skills (more coaching and recognition programs in the workplace) and a new patience for a different type of worker. It requires patience from Baby Boomers and even from Gen X, who can get quite crabby about the working quirks of Gen Y.
The issues that we are working on in the nonprofit sector will not be solved by one generation alone. We need many ways of working and many different types of skills sets. Maybe that recognition hungry Gen Xer might be a perfect fit for your HR department. They may develop your next employee incentive program that increases your staff’s productivity. That Facebook obsessed Gen Yer could suddenly lift your tiny social service agency from obscurity to social media fame.
Let’s all step back from the irritation and dark wishes that these generations never be employed and move to something more healthy for all of us.