Gen Y is used to doing things quickly and easily. And for as spoiled as this may come across, you could also say that they’re aficionados of ‘efficiency’ and have a rooted intolerance against what they perceive as a waste of time.
They text because this allows them to talk to 5 people at the one same time – be it on the same topic via a group text, or 5 separate conversations on 5 different matters – something which the phone clearly doesn’t offer. They use the Internet for everything and are truly lost without it. They’re able to hunt down and locate anything and everything through Google. They’re always on the go (personally, I’ve NO idea where exactly they’re going, but trust me, they are), and demand connectivity anywhere, at anytime. They like sharing quickly and without clicking/tapping twenty buttons. Their ability to keep up with Twitter is mind boggling. (I get light-headed within minutes of looking at those feeds.)
BYOD may be important to them, but only as it relates to efficiency. Being able to do their work from an app, from anywhere for that matter, is much more pertinent.
Their need for connectivity, ubiquity, and efficiency is very likely the most important aspect of all this. Whatever can achieve this, will go a long way; be it a mobile app, unified communications, replacing the old school laptop with a more modern tablet, etc. At work, don’t even attempt to curtail their desire to stay connected with their friends. There’s really no harm in allowing an employee to use Facebook, if said employee is responsible enough to still get his/her job done.
Simply ensure you’ve put in place clear and simple rules on the association of the company and Facebook – no talking about the company in your personal account, no slander – of course, no bad mouthing of colleagues or managers, not anything that can be damaging and could be cause for being fired.
Make those rules concise and to-the-point, and don’t adopt the old “block everything” approach, because, while it might have worked with our generation, it doesn’t work with this one.