It seems that Best Buy has identified the secret decoder ring for understanding and motivating Gen X and Y employees. (Rumor has it that said decoder ring will be on sale in Best Buy stores nationwide in time for holiday gift giving.)

Best Buy, along with three other employers (Cargill, I Love Rewards and Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.) were honored this week at the Rock Stars at Work conference in Minneapolis. (I want to put this one on my travel schedule, just because the title sounds so fun.) The event is billed as the nation’s first generation-themed business conference teaching leaders to better relate to the next generation of workers and address the approaching talent gap in America’s workforce.

Best Buy was honored with the Rockin’ the Future Award, an award recognizing a company’s steadfast dedication to the development of young talent within its organization. Best Buy was honored for the company’s exceptional efforts at bridging the talent gap – specifically placing young professionals (under 40) in key leadership or decision-making roles, implementing active training programs to aid young professionals in reaching their career goals and conducting outreach to target college-aged students or younger. Among Best Buy’s programs:

* @15, a social change platform that creates personal growth opportunities for teens.
* Gamma Girls, a network of teenage girl consumers that help Best Buy solve business problems.
* Geek Squad Summer Academy,  which gives students ages 9 to 18 hands-on experience with technology.
* The Learning Lounge, a one-stop training resource that employees can access from any Internet browser.

“At Best Buy we truly believe in the power of our people. We understand great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, therefore we recognize employees based on their contribution and talent regardless of age or other demographic criteria,” says Carolyn Aberman, senior manager of public relations for Best Buy. “Young leadership has strong representation throughout our enterprise – in corporate headquarters, in the field and in our stores. Many of our stores’ general managers fall in the under-40 category and are responsible for managing stores that are the equivalent to running a large multi-million dollar company.”

And truly, how many young people can say that?

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