Let’s move on from Gen Y bashing

At Reload Media we have bright, talented and exceptional young people that we’re lucky to call our staff.

However, one thing that bugs me is the myriad of media articles with their attention grabbing headlines implying that Generation Y are lazy, they’re from another world and we need to treat them with extra care.

Often these are the articles titled “How to Manage Gen Y’s” or “Get More From Your Gen Y Staff” or even “How to manage Gen Y entitlement”.

In the past, I’ve been drawn into this conversation and have used the term Gen Y’s. But after reflection I want to change perceptions when it comes to young people. This is based mainly on my observations of the Reload staff.

Firstly, we’re not saying the word “Gen Y’s” too much at Reload these days. The way we look at it is that we’re one team and your age or generation shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to working here. So why bother with the Gen tag.

Rather, we hire for attitude.

Secondly, there’s some history here too. Craig the co-director of Reload was 19 when he started with me under my old house back in 2008. He was in second year university at the time and his age or generation never entered into the equation.

At Reload Media we have a people and culture program called “Attitude Creates Ability” and this is an extremely important pillar in the ongoing success of all areas of the business.

It’s all about giving a career pathway to people, no matter their “Gen Tag”. As above all else, if they’ve got a great attitude we know they’ll be successful at everything they do.

So in a wider sense, can we all do away with the “Gen Y” tags all together?

Could we have “Gen Y Tag Free Day” to celebrate that young people are themselves, they might have different ways of working, but let’s embrace it rather than treat them as working aliens.

But am I only speaking for the minority? Or are there many managers out there that need all the help they can get when it comes to managing young people in their companies?

What do you think?