Share your toys! This was a message many traditionalist parents shared with their toddlers and somehow it goes from that to ‘play to win’ and ‘knock out your competition’.
Although Zoomers have been slogging away in work environments where ‘play to win’ and ‘knock out your competition’ were solid goals in the eighties and nineties they do not hold a lot of allure for the Gen Y’s entering the workforce.
Gen Y’s expect sharing when they get to their workplace and they are not motivated by knocking someone else down so that they can win. They are more motivated by group focus on a goal, group achievement with individual recognition of outstanding efforts. They realize that competition exists but they see it more as co-opetition where we cooperate with our competitors while gaining market share.
Even though Gen Y has grown up on video games and they fight and compete their way to win the game they get points for helping others and for saving the world.
All generations benefit from ‘sharing in the workplace’ specifically when it comes to the sharing of knowledge. Here is a list of sharing that goes a long way to create a happy workplace:
Sharing knowledge- generously downloading what you know to everyone on your team in order to help them do their jobs better and to gain skills
Sharing resources- cross-departmental sharing of what they have available to them such as technology, people, solutions and ideas
Sharing people- cross training and cross sharing people keeps the company dynamic and evolving and continues the learning curve for all three of the generations
Sharing clients- often a client who buys from one department is a great client for another department think Nike (basketball, soccer etc.) or Best Buy
Sharing updates- using social media such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to share what is going within the company as a constant connection tool to potential buyers and happy customers
Some questions to ask yourself in regards to sharing in your workplace are:
What could we share more often that would increase camaraderie and team within our culture?
What resources are we hoarding? (For example does one department have access to information and resources that would significantly help another?)
What can we do to share our people? How can we formalize cross training and cross department learning?
Are we sharing positive messages via social media about our company?
Sharing isn’t a concept anymore it is something that is required to live in order to create workplaces where all of the generations want to work and want to share.