YOU have likely misunderstood your Generation Y employees and co-workers at one point or another.
In some respects, Generation Y isn’t dissimilar from the rest of the workforce in what they value, but in other ways they are worlds apart.
It’s important to make these distinctions considering Generation Y will dominate Australia’s labour market by 2020, and make up 42 per cent of the workforce, according to Hays.
Today Hays has put to rest – at least for now – the debate about whether Generation Y is another Lost Generation in the making.
The report comes at a fitting time when the legal discipline is being driven to "reimagine the roles of law, law schools and lawyers", the focal point of the recent Australasian Legal Teachers Association (ALTA) conference, considering changing workforce demographics and client demands.
For every positive framing of Generation Y workers, there seems to be two more which brands the next-gen employee as demanding, selfish, and lazy, among other negative attributes.
However, these employees have taken on a new deifinition in the report Gen Y and the world of work: entrepreneurial assets seeking support and interesting work.
Managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis says the next generation of Australian workers are looking for employers whose values are in accordance with theirs.
“They want a manager who is a coach or mentor rather than a director or allocator of work,” says Deligiannis.
“We also found Generation Y in Australia are highly entrepreneurial and willing to undertake further study to progress their careers – 96 per cent said additional professional qualifications were something they would consider.
“But work and progression aren’t everything, and they are seriously focused on attaining a work-life balance that includes a desire for flexible hours and the possibility of working from home.
Deligiannis acknowledges that Generation Y’s values in the scheme of the current job market may seem unrealistic.
Nevertheless, he says they are “fully aware of the importance of job security, loyalty and financial compensation” – 45 per cent wanted job security most from their career, 67 per cent thinking this is achievable, but one-third thinking it isn’t.
Like previous Australian workers that have gone before them, Deligiannis says they have a “lust for life”. However, they may be channelling it differently.
70 per cent have or see themselves as having their own business and one in five will move overseas for work if the opportunity presents itself.
Hays’ tips for attracting an A-grade next-gen employee:
- Provide opportunities to undertake meaningful work. 50 per cent of respondents said this was what they wanted most from their careers. Generation Y enjoys work, but doesn’t live to work.
- Interesting work comes before personal wealth, but money is still important, with base salary standing as the most attractive reward/benefit nominated by 57 per cent of participants.
- Achieving work-life balance is the most important sign of career success chosen by 49 per cent of participants. Be flexible in workplace arrangements.
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