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Gen Y workers: love or hate them

Millennials are said to be lazy, impatient, and too laid back. Employers of Gen Y workers feel that those workers have unrealistic compensation demands, a poor work ethic, and poor concentration and focus. They seem to be outrageous job-hoppers. They are generalised as overconfident and constantly looking for compliments and appreciation. Is this image justified?

Millennials as leaders 

Generation Y’ers, or Echo Boomers, are extremely passionate to accomplish their goals and to be successful. Over half of the millennials indicated that they would like to start their own business or have their own business already. They want to make a difference, in all aspects of their lives. They strive to be acknowledged for their ideas and to be stimulated in their thoughts.

In general, millennials strive to be leaders. They want to have an impact on the business. They want to understand the business; from the company’s strategy, to their clients, to the development of the product. They want to understand the big picture, in order to link their contribution to the (success) of the company. They want to feel appreciated. By starting their own business, they would be a leader in their company. Not only because of their title, but also because of their (visionary) thoughts. By starting their own company, they would be responsible for the success of the company, and therefore responsible for the appreciation received from others.

Generation Y requires a different approach than former generations. Their constant need for gratitude requires a change by people in the workplace. For instance, recruiters now have to deal with two obstacles in recruiting Gen Y-ers. First, they have to compete with a “millennial’s” passion. Millennials are extremely hungry for success and recognition. Second, they have to deal with the entrepreneurial aspirations of the millennials. Recruiters have to deal with the continuous uncertainty of millennials. Millennials are something else.

Expectation management 

Employers feel that millennials are know-it-alls and that they have unreasonable expectations about promotions. However, millennials are extremely passionate and excel in self-development. In general, they expect to move into a leadership position more quickly than previous generations, and are prepared to move towards a new challenge if they are not promoted. Consequently, if this expectation is managed properly, it is most likely that they will stick around.

Millennials need more structure than any other group in the past, but they are very trustworthy. They are likely to be long-term employees, if they understand what is expected of them. They are hankering for feedback from their bosses, which demonstrates their desire to contribute to the company in the best way possible. Companies should change their vision from ‘How long can I keep my Gen Y worker?’ towards a more positive vision: ‘How can we strengthen and take full advantage of this relationship?’.

Generation Y-culture 

Gen Y-ers are looking for innovative, forward-thinking companies. They particularly value the culture of a company and the opportunity to grow. Compensation is no longer the most important thing. Gen Y wants to be happy at work; over half of Gen Y workers would rather be unemployed than work at a job they hate. 84 percent indicate that having meaningful work that makes a difference is most important to them, motivated by opportunities to develop and grow in the workplace. The culture and philosophy of a company is the most important thing for the new workforce. An optimal work atmosphere will ensure that Gen Y workers will stick around and give all their best for the company.

However, Gen Y-ers are viewed as an unstable factor, who are distracted easily. They skip songs on a playlist halfway through, they absent-mindedly switch back and forth between apps, and they can’t decide which mobile device to use at any given time. The term job-hopper is used more than once to describe a Gen Y worker. Over 80 percent of Gen Y workers indicate that they won’t stay at a job for longer than two years, unless they’re promoted. This can be misinterpreted as career-pickiness, but it’s rather an illustration of a need to connect deeply with their job. Gen Y workers are very reliable, if the environment is right.

Gen Y workers are very valuable, who will bring great expertise to a company. They have grown up surrounded by technology and social media is designed especially for them: they excel in social media. They are a very valuable asset for the company, if the right culture is created/presented. Instead of complaining about the shortcomings of Gen Y workers, focus on the upside of Gen Y-ers. Love Generation Y.

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