Are Microsoft's Efforts to Attract Gen Y Doomed?

Last Updated Jan 4, 2010 8:25 AM EST

Is Microsoft doing enough to attract and retain Gen YOver at BNET's sister site ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley has an inside look at Microsoft's hand wringing about the company's ability to attract and retain young talent. Apparently, the age of leaders skews older and most are in their 40s or 50s, occasioning much fretting about what should be done.
Foley has gotten her hands on an internal memo with the long-winded title, "Are You Ready for Generation Y?: Motivating and retaining Generation Y through managerial paradigm shift and the adoption of Enterprise Social Media tools," which outlines the steps the company is taking. Among them,
  • Start a Reverse Mentoring Program To utilize Millennials' confidence, desire for growth, desire for being a part of something and technical skills (a tutoring for older employees program or something along those lines)
  • Assign workspace with Millennials in close proximity with one another
  • Feedback, Feedback, Feedback: "Though Millennials don't like to be micro-managed, they love feedback."
  • Incorporate informal recognition programs: Millennials have "grown up in a system where they are recognized for their achievements, small and large and continuing that in the workplace can be fun and easy."
  • Greater incorporation of social media tools and technologies in the corporate setting.
Seems like the company has been reading up on Gen Y and what they want in a workplace and are on the right track. Still, I wonder if Microsoft has a more fundamental problem with their employer brand. I'd be hard-pressed to find a Gen Y peer who doesn't view the company as uncool, perpetually playing catch up and generally associated with the forces of all that is stodgy and old school. Do you think Microsoft's efforts to be more Gen Y friendly are doomed?
(Image of Microsoft sign by Nils Geylen, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.