How to Inspire Cultish Employee Devotion

A lesson in managing Gen Y workers from Vice co-founder Shane Smith

Written by Staff

Contrary to popular belief, Gen Y workers can be loyal, devoted employees. They can also make your company very, very successful. Just ask Shane Smith, CEO and co-founder of Vice Media, whose empire of scrappy young journalists and content producers was recently valued at $2.5 billion. He explains what it takes to get great things out of young recruits.

Read: What Makes Shane Smith the Most Powerful Man in Media

“We’re not afraid to give young people real jobs. At Vice, we give interns big jobs—throw them off the diving board to see if they can swim, so to speak. We’re sort of Maoist, in that we feel everyone has to be able to taste the revolution.

“Everyone needs to think as a partner and not as an employee. We introduced a stock options program so everyone can participate in the ups of the company, to keep striving to be better and to never get in the mindset that a C minus is good enough. We’re an entrepreneurial company, so we try to keep that spirit.

“Plus, we’re like an incestuous, weird family. Everyone hangs out together, parties together and lives together. That’s a bit cultish.”

Read: Don’t Be Afraid of Gen Y

This story is part of the package in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Business. Click here for more useful, business-building tips, or here to subscribe to the magazine!

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com