The face of today’s workforce is rapidly changing with four generations working side by side: Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X and now Generation Y.
Born in the mid-1980's and later, Generation Y are in their 20s and are just entering the workforce. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (also known as the Millennials) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce expected to rise 40% in 2012. As companies vie for top talent, employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this vast generation. Many of the changes that we see in our culture are a result of social media; you can thank this generation for its explosive use, they quickly became adept at figuring out the platform and making use of its global reach and bringing the rest of us along for the ride! You may be reading this blog post as a result of a link you found on Twitter which chances are it was your children or Gen Y co-worker that dragged you on and taught you its value is proof of the power of this group.
According to Sally Kane a leading careers specialist and author, Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerries, laptops, cell phones and iPods, Generation Y is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail text messaging, Twitter and Facebook and would choose webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
The fast-track has lost much of its appeal for Generation Y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. While older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, Generation Y professionals have a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritize family over work.
Employers will need to adapt attraction/retention strategies and management techniques to better suit Gen Ys in order to allow them to flourish and engage in the workplace. It would be a huge oversight for current company leaders not to be proactively strategizing on how to add this highly impressive generation to their teams. There is an incredible opportunity to have a multi-generational workforce collaborating and learning from one another to create products and companies on a global scale that has never been possible.
This generation is driving trends in the workforce including those in global mobility and relocation. This group of individuals is far more likely to relocate for a job opportunity. A recent Ipsos Reid study confirmed that 38% of people under age 35 would consider relocation as opposed to 25% of their elder counterparts.
Companies that want to lure Gen Yer’s to their teams will need to go above and beyond salary to secure top talent; among other things, these workers list adventure as the #2 reason for relocating. They appreciate staying in contemporary urban condos and lofts with bike paths, amenities and cultural activities at their door. They also want to be able to come through the door and immediately connect their multiple devices to the internet. To accommodate these changing needs we have gone beyond wireless internet, 42” Flat panel TV’s and blu ray players. We now make iPod docks standard in all our suites and we have also added a concierge list that includes; gaming systems, HDMI cables, upgraded cable packages and espresso machines.
These are exciting, fast paced times and those companies that can embrace this millennial generation for the dynamic energy that they bring will prosper. Those that continue to ignore this tech savvy group may be hearing about the demise of their company from their kids who read about it on Twitter.
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