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Bringing Out the Best in Young Talent: Managing Generations Y & Z

When Managing Generation X came out in 1995, it hit a nerve and changed the global conversation about young people in the workplace. As a result, the book became a classic and the author Bruce Tulgan was able to continue his pioneering research becoming a leading expert on young people in the workplace.

The company he founded RainmakerThinking, Inc. ® has continues that research today. For nearly two decades we have conducted in-depth interviews, focus groups, and surveys tracking the attitudes and behavior of young people in the workplace, how they are being managed, and how they should be managed.

In 2009’s Not Everyone Gets a Trophy Bruce describes Generation Y (those born between 1978 and 1989) —already 30% of the North American workforce— as “the most high maintenance workforce in history” but with the potential to be “the most high-performing workforce in history.”

Now, RainmakerThinking is tracking the emergence of a new cohort, Generation Z (those born 1990 and later) —already 6% of the North American workforce and the fastest growing segment.

Bruce separates the facts from the myths about today’s young workers.  With verbatim (and often hilarious) quotes from young workers and their managers, Bruce offers actionable advice for leaders, managers, and supervisors to better recruit, train, engage, develop, motivate and retain the best of the next generation of talent.


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Additional Details and Learning Objectives

After this program, participants will be better able to:

Understand the attitudes and behavior of young employees.

Understand the nuances that distinguish the commonly described “Millennialls” as two very distinct workplace generations.

Attract and select the best young employees when recruiting.

Get new young employees on board and up to speed.

Help young employees learn and grow in their jobs.

Help young employees work smarter, faster, and better.

Teach young employees to understand where they fit in the organization, how to better manage themselves, and how to be managed.

Teach young employees to deliver better customer service.

Reduce turnover among high performing young employees and increase voluntary turnover among low-performing young employees.

Prepare the best young employees to assume management responsibilities.

Based on more than a decade of research, this program reframes Generation Y (born between 1978-1990) and the newly emerging Generation Z (born after 1990) for business leaders and managers at a time when the corporate world is struggling to understand and manage employees in this age group.

Generations Y and Z are the most high maintenance workforce generations in history, but they also have the potential to be the most high-performing workforce generations in history.

Bruce debunks the most common myths about Generations Y and Z in the workplace:
Myth: They are disloyal and can’t make real commitments to employers.
Myth: They won’t do the grunt work.
Myth: They have short attention spans.
Myth: They want the top job on day one.
Myth: They need work to be ‘fun.’
Myth: They want to be left alone.
Myth: They want managers to do their work for them.
Myth: They don’t care about climbing the proverbial career ladder.
Myth: Money doesn’t matter to them.
Myth: Money is the only thing that matters.
Myth: They don’t respect their elders.
Myth:They only want to learn from computers.
Myth: It’s impossible to turn them into long-term employees.
Myth: They will never make good managers because they are so self focused.

The key to winning the respect of these generations is strong highly-engaged leadership. To bring out the best in GenY and Zers, managers must carefully manage their expectations, never downplaying negative aspects of a job, always telling it is like it is.

Bruce presents funny and poignant verbatim quotes from GenY and Zers and those who manage GenY and Zers, putting the two perspectives in conversation throughout his presentation. Then he shows managers how to tune-in to GenY and Zer’s short-term and transactional mindset.

Actionable Takeaways and Best Practices

  • Along the way, Bruce teaches dozens of immediately actionable best practices in a clear step-by-step guide to bring out the best in today’s young talent:
  • Get them on board fast with the right messages.
  • Get them up to speed quickly and turn them into knowledge workers.
  • Practice ‘in loco parentis’ management.
  • Give them the gift of context.
  • Teach them to care about delivering great customer service.
  • Teach them how to manage themselves.
  • Teach them how to be managed by you.
  • Retain the best of them, one day at a time.
  • Build the next generation of leader.