Today’s Expert Views feature features Will Sargeant, former APM Young Project Manager Award winner (pictured below, he’s the girl in the above photo), who works for North Highland Consulting. We talked about how under-30’s are influencing project team leaders today.
Hello, Will. Why is it that employers are struggling to engage Gen-Y team members? Hello. Today, organisations have people from many generations. Many of the core beliefs, motivations, and expectations have changed in recent years. While many core elements remain the same, there has been significant change and a fundamental shift in how they are perceived.
Organisations and people need to adapt. Organisations can be slow to adapt and older generations may be less open to change. This can make it difficult for younger generations. Generation Y members are pushing their careers hard and moving up to senior management positions. This accelerates the pace and highlights the differences between people at different ages within an organization.
It seems a bit simplistic to group everyone together in this way. How true is the truism of different work styles for different generations based on your experience or research?
There are obvious generalizations in any study or perspective of this nature. The problem is that the names and dates for each generation are not consistent. This can also be seen in the US. It is unclear how many people live near or across each border. Despite this, the research shows significant trends.
This thinking has been tested internally at North Highland, looking at the London office of more than 300 people and our base of 40 clients in multiple industries. These general trends and perspectives seem to be strong and largely true.
I must admit that I am not in the group of under 30’s anymore. What is the best thing older project managers can do to have better working relationships with Gen Y colleagues?
In all the research, studies, and points of views I have read, there is a common theme that the older generation should radically change to adopt the newer generations ways of working (even more so when you look at Generation Z). It doesn’t have to be 100% one way or the other. It is necessary to have a meeting.
“Elder”? You’re not even 40, hang on!
In my view, generations. Sorry. I strongly believe in the ‘first you get along, then you get along’ approach. Generation Z students at university and school now will tell you that they don’t see the world in this way.
These expectations are important and openness to following another’s path doesn’t seem to be the default starting point.
The key to success is awareness and positive thinking. There are many ways to make the differences work for everyone’s benefit. Take the time to be aware of the differences and decide how you will manage, manage, and create opportunities. This is true for all aspects of the work world. Our two-page PDF, How Under 30’s Can Make or Break Your Project, highlights some areas people can think of as well as practical steps they can take.
Over the years, generations have worked in the workplace. Copyright North Highland. It is used with permission. What advice would you offer Gen Y’s who manage projects to engage with their peers?
I strongly believe in the importance of taking proactive action in both directions. It is in everyone’s best interest to be aware and effective in managing your team, colleagues, and stakeholders. Ge is also required to be aware of the expectations of others.