Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gen Y’s Role in the Economic Climate

The current state of the struggling economy has been a brutal awakening for Gen Y workers, but it is also creating new problems for managers, according to a report in the Economist. The article, “Reality Bites for Young Workers,” definitely deserves a few minutes of your time. Read it here.

It also mentions how some retailers are grasping on to these Gen Y staffers (and their knowledge of the Internet) to help save money:

Net Geners’ knowledge of Internet technology can also help companies save money. Consider the case of Best Buy, a big American consumer-electronics retailer. Keen to create a new employee portal, the firm contacted an external consultancy that quoted it a price of several million dollars. Shocked by this, a group of young Best Buy employees put together a small team of developers from their own networks who produced a new portal for about $250,000. Another Net Gener at the company cobbled together a mobile-phone version of Best Buy’s website for fun in seven days in his spare time.

Best Buy is also betting that its Net Geners can come up with new ways of boosting sales using the web and other means. “We’ll weather the storm and be stronger because of the Net Generation,” says Michele Azar, Best Buy’s head of Internet strategy. Estée Lauder, a cosmetics firm, is also encouraging Net Geners to help it innovate. It has launched an initiative called iForce, which brings together young staff to dream up ways of marketing products using emerging technologies.

Click, click, click.

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