Has Gen Y Lost Sight of the Value of Face-Time?

In a world where introductions and ongoing contact is made through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and conferences are being held virtually to be more economical, handshakes and in-person meetings are becoming much less common. After spending four years in business school perfecting my “perfect handshake” with just the right amount of firmness to look self-assured and confident but not overbearing, and learning how to write professional memos and documents, I entered the “real world” expecting both of these to be used in the daily operation of corporate America.
At a networking event I attended this week hosted by SC Magazine, a discussion formed around how Gen Y is entering the workforce and relying on informal, virtual means like social networks to make professional connections. As a result, formal grammar and style of writing has gone by the wayside, along with the value of forming relationships prior to connecting on the web. One attyended argues that once a relationship is formed, it isn’t important how you get in contact with the person, but what does matter is how that initial relationship is formed. Social media is not an appropriate medium for building relationships, but is fine for maintaining them, this person said
This theme resonated yesterday when on a call with our client HCL Technologies. A demo of HCL’s “Employee First Initiative” outlined that it’s the Gen Y employees in their corporation that are most apt to participate in online surveys, provide feedback online and make their performance reviews public on their employee intranet. Although in some cases Gen Y’s active engagement in social media and other online mediums help further corporate objectives, it is important to remember that typed words can never replace personal conversations and looking a person in the eye while shaking their hand is still more lasting than an introduction on LinkedIn.

— Posted by Danielle Millerick


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