In their new book, “Y in the Workplace: Managing the ‘Me First’ Generation,” by Nicole Lipkin and April Perrymore explore the psychological influences that shape Gen Y’s attitude and approach toward work, and give companies insight and advice on how to coach, manage and retain Gen Y workers. Lipkin and Perrymore recently spoke with SmartBrief’s Akoto Ofori-Atta about the character of Generation Y, and what employers can do to harness their potential.

What characteristics of Gen Y do employers of other generations find most problematic?
PERRYMORE: Our research revealed that the biggest complaint was a false sense of entitlement. Generation Y has an immediate need for getting rewards, praise, and promotion not based on tenure, but based on performance.

What are the psychological causes for this difference in attitude toward work?

LIPKIN: This generation was raised by Baby Boomers, who were influenced by the hippie movement of the 70s, which resulted in a revolt against traditional parenting practices. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Workforce — tracks feedback from leading managers and HR practitioners. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter and feature analysis from SmartBrief on Workforce Senior Editor Mary Ellen Slayter on this blog.

Last week’s poll question: What quality do you think is most important for a successful career?

  • Accountability 29%
  • Honesty 24%
  • Flexibility 23%
  • Leadership 18%
  • Intelligence 7%

This question was prompted by Steve Tobak’s excellent outline of the “5 Personal Core Competencies for the Real Business World.” Readers were clearly divided on which trait was most important, however, when it came to career success. I would have given the edge to flexibility. The business world is changing so fast; one has to be open-minded to keep up. (read more…)

Keeping you informed of the latest news and trends in talent management is our mission, and we’ve pulled together some of the top names in human resources to help. As members of our new Workforce Advisory Board, this group of HR thought leaders and practitioners will advise SmartBrief on the direction and content of the SmartBrief on Workforce daily newsletter, this blog and @SBWorkforce on Twitter.

The Board includes experts on HR technology, recruiting, federal government careers, personal branding and leadership development, among other hot topics. They have experience working with the smallest of startups, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

The founding members include:

  • Steve Boese, technology expert and host of HR Happy Hour, a biweekly Internet radio show discussing the latest issues and trends affecting human resources.
  • Joel Cheesman, founder of the recruiting blog Cheezhead.
  • Ryan Estis, managing partner of Ryan Estis & Associates, a consulting practice focused on HR communications and training to create high engagement/high performance work cultures.
  • (read more…)

Laura Sherbin and Karen Sumberg made a compelling case for killing the cube farm in a guest post on Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s blog. They’re right, of course, that knocking down the cubicle walls can encourage more conversation and foster team cohesiveness — that is, unless everyone gets on each other’s nerves. It isn’t enough to just pull out all the walls. Open work spaces are the norm in newsrooms, and I’ve spent most of my career working in such an environment. Here are my five tips for maximizing productivity in an office without walls.

  • Consider the acoustics. An office without walls needs higher-quality furnishings — and possibly a very different ceiling — than you had before. Before you start hauling off the cubicles, consider hiring a workplace ergonomics consultant. Or at least make sure you understand the principles of noise reduction.
  • Create a quiet-time policy. Many workplaces have regular busy times when most workers really need to focus.
  • (read more…)