Sheahan’s motivation and business aptitude was demonstrated early on, with a transition from cleaning pub toilets to being general manager of a Sydney hotel and directing over 30 staff in 18 months.
It was during his time at the hotel that Sheahan realised that many young employees were not able to engage in the work place.
Sheahan told Dynamic Business that one of the main reasons for this lack of engagement many employers have not yet taken the time to consider the differences between the needs and working styles of the young and ageing workforce.
“Generation Y are a hyper-stimulated group of people and they will get bored easily with certain roles because the demand for a skilled workforce is so high now. The secret to keeping them is variety,” Mr Sheahan said.
His realisations prompted Sheahan to start his own business addressing the needs of young employees. He has written five books, including the business guide Generation Y, with this aim in mind, winning him the New South Wales Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.
Since then Sheahan co-founded and became CEO of the Centre for Skills Development (CSD), which helps companies invest in solutions to problems in the economy that affect their future. A major collaboration between CSD and the Commonwealth Bank, SmartStart, focused on improving the financial literacy of Australian school children.
Sheahan aims, through the CSD, his books and his speeches, to improve business awareness about the needs and wants of the younger Australian generations.
“The best thing (for businesses) is to become a Generation Y-friendly employer, (one) who provides meaningful, well-rewarded work in a balanced and flexible environment,” Mr Sheahan told Dynamic Business.