EYE on GEN Y – Gen Ys have little concept of privacy – theirs, yours, and the company’s.

Young employees have little concept of privacy – theirs, yours, and the company’s.

Q: What is the most dangerous challenge bosses have to face with younger employees?

A: Gen Y workers, aka Millennials, have been raised in a world where privacy is not valued.

This is the Facebook Generation – the YouTube Generation – the reality show generation.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it, text it, post on Facebook, or send it viral.  Gen Ys – ages 30 and younger – are their own press agents.

Young employees have grown up in a society where sharing information with friends and even with strangers shows an astonishing lack of discernment.

Do young employees know how to act and dress appropriately?  Society has not discouraged Gen Ys from wearing flipflops at the White House, Britney jeans on the streets, and piercing themselves with tatoos and noserings .  (I try to skip those food servers.)  Most recently, Kate Upton’s stint as Sports Illustrated covergirl for the 2012 swimsuit issue got the A-OK from Congressman Uncle Fred Upton and the rest of her family.  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/kate-upton-a-great-gal-fred-upton-congressman-uncle-article-1.1024151?localLinksEnabled=false

Do young employees know how to keep a secret?  Employment counsellors encourage potential employees to clean up their Facebook pages.  However, once viral, always visual.  And, BFFs are a true danger.

For any company or agency that doesn’t want its secrets and strategies out and about, the first order of the day is to give a course on what not to say or do professionally.  For businesses, it can even be something as small as calling a customer by the first name before being given permission.  Or, it can be something as big as telling your BFF about upcoming products, services, or old office gossip.  In the world of Gen Y, corporate espionage has to go no further than friending the right person.

Word-of-mouth marketing – going viral – can be a Gen Y asset when it is used to spread the word about a great product or service.

But, it’s a disaster for corporations and government agencies who operate in both national and international settings.  Young employees need a crash course in keeping quiet.  And, then, they need to be kindly mentored in the difference between the world they grew up in and the real world where information is more valuable than gold.