What every employer should know about Generation Y
Some might characterize this group as being demanding, ungrateful and entitled. Others might argue that this group is rather innovative, creative and driven.
Whichever stance you take, the reality is that Millennials (roughly aged 20 to early 30’s) now make up the largest part of the world’s work force. And as an employer, there is a clear winner and loser in approaching this reality; the losers are those who try to enforce their workplace norms on this generation without adapting to their unique qualities, and the winners are those who see the extraordinary benefits of their qualities and rather adapt to their characteristics. To put it bluntly, those who try to avoid this reality are simply ignorant to the inevitable process of natural generational change. Either way, there’s no running from reality. Baby boomers are quickly retiring, and Generation Yers are coming in for the long haul.
In an article written by Gordon Tredgold, he revealed 29 surprising facts about Millennials in the workforce. While some are indeed shocking, most reveal the ambitious, creative and loyal nature of these individuals:
- 64 percent of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.
- 88 percent prefer a collaborative work culture rather than a competitive one.
- Millennials actually stay with their employers longer than Gen-X workers did at the same ages; in fact, more Gen-Xers spent less than one year at any one job.
- 84 percent say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.
- They’re more loyal to employers than previous generations.
- Millennials value community, family, and creativity in their work.
- Millennials are considered multitaskers extraordinaire, though brain science tells us that multitasking is a myth. More likely, they are apt at switching tasks quickly enough to appear to be doing them simultaneously.
Ken Rabow from Huffington Post suggests 3 simple tips on how you can embrace, empower and mentor millennials:
1) Open, honest and direct communication: Millennials in the workforce want to know how the tasks they are undertaking will make a difference in the overall goals of the place they emotionally invest in. The more clarity they have on an ongoing basis, the easier it will be for them to embrace the reason your company is/will be great.
2) Lead by inspiration: A key incentive for Millennials is happiness; down the list is financial gain. Help them be in an inspiring and enthusiastic work environment and make sure that the work is based on tasks and goals not a time-clock.
3) Opportunities for growth: Millennials want to grow as professionals and as people. Creating opportunities to learn and evolve are vital to attracting, retaining and engaging Millennials. Mentoring programs can help the entire culture grow your business and industry by letting the unconventional meet a new business landscape.”
Suffice it to say, this group has been largely underestimated. It takes an employer who is adaptable and sees the bigger picture to really understand the benefits of embracing this Generation. Any company that can adapt and accommodate these needs is going to have access to a very talented pool of resources, who will be dedicated, creative and driven.