This post was originally published at MassBioHQ on March 25th 2014
As a leader in your company or team, it is important to be able to communicate effectively with your staff.
In small start-ups and in the fast-paced biotech world, there are many opportunities for young graduates to help build a business and kick-start their careers. Many of these new recruits will be fresh-faced, eager-to-learn students straight from university: Generation Y, born in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This group has grown up in a digital world to which they’re constantly connected. For the same reason, they’re always curious about what others are doing, and this flows right into the way they work.
They have a different way of getting things done, so it’s worth finding out what makes them tick.
1) Don’t shy away from the unknown
Many young new recruits will be using the latest gadgets and technologies that may seem alien to you. Don’t be afraid of asking how they work. Their familiarity with the latest social media platforms and other digital communication media could help you connect with wider audiences.
2) Find out what motivates them
Generation Y are ambitious goal setters, just like some of their cultural heroes Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. They want to be recognised for their intelligence, individuality and creativity. Take the time to find out what motivates them and provide the appropriate challenges to help them achieve their goals.
3) Let their creativity flow
Generation Y have grown up watching their peers set up Fortune 500 companies, sell apps for millions and run social media sites. They’ve seen young people take risks and achieve incredible things. As a result, they’ve developed a can-do attitude: if you can dream it, you can do it. So give them a chance to let their creativity flow: create a comfortable workplace where they can feel free to talk about their ideas without being stifled.
4) How do they communicate?
The younger generations are constantly connected. Think Buzzfeed, think YouTube, think Twitter: life as a Millennial is fast. They absorb an incredible amount of information in a short time, rapidly switching between ideas. Keep things short and sweet: Long emails and hours of talk might not be the best way to connect with them. Get to the point and then let them get on with it.
5) Ask, don’t assume
If you can’t figure them out, ask. There is no point in stereotyping, as all too often this ends up making things worse. Don’t beat about the bush trying to find out, just get straight to the point! If you don’t ask, more often than not, you won’t get.