Working with Generation Y

A new generation is entering the work force with a rather peculiar set of expectations and behavior patterns. Raised on modern technology — personal computers, cell phones, cable TV — they expect higher salaries, good benefits and the potential for advancement.

These are the findings of a myriad of studies, surveys, ‘Webinars’ along with staffing firms that are paying particularly close attention to the new crowd, called Generation Y to figure out what makes them tick and develop strategies for companies to recruit and retain them. An estimated 80 million strong, Gen-Y workers aged 21-28 may end up changing the culture of companies.

According to a recent study that surveyed 1,007 Gen-Y professionals; their top criteria for accepting jobs are salary, benefits and potential for advancement. They expect results more quickly. They see no government safety net at the end of their careers. And having been micromanaged by their parents just a text message away, they expect constant feedback from their supervisors.

There is lot of evidence that points to a very large difference between the (baby) boomer work ethic and the Gen-Y and Gen-X work ethic. They’re used to questioning authority with their parents and teachers. They would rather work in a meaningful job and contribute to the company that will continually keep training them so they can be given more responsibility than receive a fancy title and corner office.

The downside is that they become disengaged quickly if they’re not challenged and tend to have more job turnover than their Gen-X predecessors. The big thing at the Gen-Y level is their unwillingness to stay at a job for more than 18 months or two years. This generation of workers wants what they want in terms of salary compensation, training and benefits. They want it now, and they’re not willing to wait it out as many boomers were willing to do when they started their careers 30-50 years ago.

Coach Mark
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    Opinionated Gen-Y here (1984):
    “The big thing at the Gen-Y level is their unwillingness to stay at a job for more than 18 months or two years.”
    I don’t want to get stuck in a dead-end job like my older (45y) co-workers; who are paid only a dollar more per hour then me.
    I see my peers on Facebook completing their apprenticeship at Company-B and I’m told by my Company-A CEO ‘We’re not going to continue the apprenticeship programme for now, but then maybe in the New Year’
    A week later I get a text message form one of the guys working afternoon shift that five people have been let go. So, my natural instinct is to update my résumé and message friend from Company-B. Better offer; I’m gone.
    My personal experience with my first ‘real’ job was in 2002-2008, recession hit and us Gen-Y’s were first to be fired. Why would I believe this time would be different?
    Great work you have here, this is just a view from my perceptive.

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