Recognize This! – Everyone needs feedback and encouragement on the work they do, regardless of generation.
It seems I’ve written a few posts recently on “Questions I’m frequently asked.” Here’s one more: “Derek, what are the differences in how the various generations should be recognized?” Or sometimes it’s phrased a bit more bluntly: “Derek, don’t you see Gen Y demanding more recognition and that having a negative impact on recognition overall?”
My usual answer is this really isn’t a generational issue, but a stage of life challenge. Those of you not in Gen Y, think back to your first “real” job. Didn’t you often seek out validation that what you were doing was the right thing to do or way to do it? Don’t we want our newest employees asking these questions? Shouldn’t we as managers and mentors be looking for opportunities to give Gen Y employees frequent feedback to help ensure they are working up to potential?
This topic became top-of-mind for me again today when I read the latest “Corner Office” column in The New York Times, featuring Ben Lerer, co-founder and CEO of the Thrillist Media Group. In the interview, Ben responded to a question asking if he thought about the culture he wanted to create in company by saying:
Here’s a highly motivated employee whose desire to go above and beyond is destroyed through public shaming. How much more could this bright, entrepreneurial employee have given to this company if, instead, he’d been given public praise and private coaching and mentoring?