Generation Y Wants Rapid Promotions
By Jane Han
Coinciding with the start of the retirement of baby boomers worldwide, the creative and opinionated Generation Y is starting to fill the employment gap. But human resource experts warn that employers shouldn't mistakenly assume what jobs for the sacrificial, hardworking boomers will do for the free-spirited young crowd.
``Generation Y has created a need for a cultural overhaul that has not been this dramatic since women entered the workforce en masse,'' Jenny Floren, CEO of Experience, a U.S.-based career counseling service, said. ``We need the talent and creativity this generation brings.''
So who is this talent touted as tomorrow's leaders?
First coined in 1993 by AD Age editorial as those born between 1981 to 1995, now, observers widened the scope to anyone born as early as 1976 and late as 2000.
These 18 to 30 year-olds are known to be independent, diverse and tech-savvy, and experts say instead of fitting into work, they call for work to fit their needs.
A June 2007 survey titled ``Gen Y at Work'' conducted among 2,546 hiring managers across industries showed that 74 percent of Gen Y workers expect to be paid more; 61 percent said they expect flexible work schedules; 56 percent expect promotion within a year; and 50 percent want more vacation or personal time.
Figures indicate that they are a pretty demanding group of workers, but hiring executives stress that, regardless, work culture should evolve according to their needs.
``Generation Y workers are an important segment of the workforce and literally the future of companies and organizations,'' said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com, an online job search engine.
She said if companies' cultures make changes to work for each generation, then everyone will benefit from a variety of viewpoints and work styles.
And to make wise alterations, Floren of Experience makes a few suggestions in the areas of compensation, communication style, benefits and work environment.
``Compensating Gen Y is not solely about money,'' she said, explaining that the focus for these individuals is less about money, but more about advancement, the improved capabilities and the recognition of achievement.
Offering Gen Y employees a raise, while keeping other factors the same won't work, she said.
In communication, Floren noted that the 18-30s group speaks a different language, therefore, hiring and department managers must practice a new style of communicating.
``Gen Y employees respond to humor, passion and the truth: don't even think of `spinning' a message with this audience,'' she said, adding although they like this type of blunt communication, more will prefer cyber talk instead.
Unlike Gen X and baby boomers who see a difference between online and in-person interaction, Gen Y consider virtual relationships just the same. All of this will naturally encourage more work to be done from remote locations.
On benefits, experts say the leisure-enjoying crowd prizes a nice benefit package over almost anything.
This preference is driving employers to get more creative in offering perks, such as one-month sabbaticals after five years of work.
``This recognizes Gen Y's strengths and offers them time to explore civic interests and volunteerism that is so inherent in 18-30 year-olds,'' said Floren.