Born in the mid-1980s and later, Generation Yers are in their 20s and are just entering the work force. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million in North America alone, Generation Y (also known as the Millennials) is the fastest growing segment of today’s work force. Gen Y is most closely aligned with the Traditionalists than any other generation as they were given full attention by their parents, which results in a generation that is strongly family-focused, sharing a fundamental Traditionalist view of the importance of family, and they are confident in themselves and optimistic about the future.
Below are a few common characteristics of Generation Yers.
Tech-Savvy – Generation Y grew up with technology and relies on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cell phones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact, and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
Family-Centric – Generation Y is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. While the older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, Generation Y professionals have a different vision of work place expectations and prioritize family over work.
Achievement-Oriented – Nurtured and pampered by parents who did not want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
Team-Oriented – As children, Generation Y participated in team sports, play groups and other group activities. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Part of a no-person-left-behind generation, Generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.
Attention-Craving – Generation Y craves attention in the form of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.
This concludes the series on Generational Approaches to Work. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and also hope you’ve picked up a few good tips on how to more effectively manage, reward and retain your employees with the information provided. As always, we are delighted to talk with you should you have questions or comments.
The information in this article is intended for general guidance only. Readers are requested to contact their professional advisor prior to acting on the basis of material contained herein.