Generation Y in the workplace

by Sabine Steiner in — March 2016
Generation Y is known as the generation which was born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. There are no precise dates for when this generation starts and ends and experts also do not agree on when Gen Y started.

Millennials or Digital Natives

Members/People in this generation are called Millennials or Digital Natives. They do not know a life without the internet. Socializing via Facebook, Instagram and Co. isessential for them. The millennium generation, as it is often called, has grown up with the internet and new technologies like smartphones, laptops and social media. Consequently, they supposedly handle new technology much better than the older generation. However, this is not always the case.

Characteristics of Gen Y

People of Gen Y can be described as self-confident and ambitious. Sometimes folks think that they are not self-confident but rather arrogant. Success in Millennials careers’ is not as important to them as their family and their friends are. Moreover, they are searching for new challenges and they have high expectations. Gen Y often has excessive expectations, so it turns out that reality is worse than their expectations are. People will be unhappy in that case.

Some other characteristics of the Generation Y are:

  • They are looking for a good work-life balance, flexible working hours and strong diversity policies.
  • They also expect to rise rapidly through the organization and move up the ladder very fast.
  • Corporate Responsibilities have to meet the expectations of the Millennials or they will leave their employer.
  • They grew up with new technology. Consequently, they are affine to the digital world and they will take advantage of it.
  • People of Gen Y are image-driven. So it is important for them to represent their image via personal statements or something else.
  • Personal learning and development are more important for them than financial rewards.
  • Constant use of social media/social networks anywhere at any time is striking.
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What makes an organization an attractive employer?

There are a lot of things Millennials care about and it is not that simple to provide all those things. As mentioned before, they are really self-confident and they are not afraid to raise questions if something is not clear. They are looking for more than just a job, they are looking for something that feels worthwhile to work for. Furthermore, they are not only motivated by money.

So what makes an organization an attractive employer?

  • Opportunities for further development
  • Benefits provided by the company
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Nice colleagues to work with
  • Competitive salary
  • Opportunities to go/work abroad
  • Corporate values that matches to them
  • The reputation as an employer

If you want to attract people of Gen Y you have to satisfy their needs and expectations. Nowadays it is important to fight for highly skilled employees and to have a working strategy for keeping the pipeline full of talented people. It is going to be harder to find “good staff”. So new approaches for recruitment will/have to arise.