With the number of younger colleagues coming into SMR, I was intrigued to read Marcus Buckingham, an authority and author on discovering and maximizing your strengths. His comment about Generation Ys tending to be employees who show up at work thinking “I’m here; now entertain me.” certainly got me reading more about his work.

Younger people are exceptionally talented. I spoke to an audience of about 450 young people recently. The talent overwhelmed me. They were bright but very different. The question on my mind like just about on every manager’s mind is – how do you engage them, develop their talents and make them superior performers?

The fact that they are much more optimistic, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and ambitious makes them very different from Generation X. Buckingham explains that Generation Ys got prizes for graduating from first grade, for coming eight in a race or just for showing up. They are exceptionally well rewarded, recognized and the most praised generation in living memory. So, they have this feeling of massive entitlement. After six weeks on the job, they expect a promotion. Buckingham says that Generation Ys needs can benefit today’s organizations. He says their needs and sense of entitlement match perfectly with the needs that companies have for employees who are creative, innovative, resourceful, resilient, persistent and engaged. His advice to Generation X managers – engage them constructively and help them channel their energies towards their strengths. It is about self-management of expectations.

He uses the acronym SIGN – S for Success, I for InstinctsG for GrowthN for Needs.

– Tan Sri Dr. R Palan –