With members of Generation Z (people born post 2000) on the up and coming, it is easy to forget their under-estimated and overlooked antecedents - Generation Y (anyone born in the ‘80s and ‘90s). With the entire generation almost completely done with university, and with more work experience under their belts than any of their generational predecessors, members of Generation Y are taking the business world by storm and changing it for the better.
In a book, Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now, by marketing and media expert Sarah Sladek, she explains that this tech savvy, innovative, driven and confident bunch are unlike any other generation.
Gen Y members are a breath of fresh air against sometimes more stagnant businessmen and their archaic ways. Dynamic and active, the stats show that Gen Y members really are different:
- 92% of Gen Y believe that business should be defined by more than just profit - this is reflective of their intrinsic moral education and their willingness to contribute to society
- 80% prefer on-the-spot recognition rather than formal reports
- 61% feel a moral obligation to change the world for the better
- 50% want to kick start their own personal business endeavors, if they haven't done so already
- 2 years is their average duration of employment
Gen Ys are also typically open minded, with an outlook and worldview that prepares them for the worst and for the best. Research has shown that their ‘let's keep our options open' demeanour makes them significantly better equipped for a 21st century workplace as opposed to their counterparts, the baby boomers.
Recognising their differences and the numerous advantages afforded by their special characteristics, is of paramount importance. This is because, recent reports show that employers who altered their policies to best please and serve their employees have benefited immensely.
So whether it's fulfilling their desire to make a difference or motivating and rewarding them for participation and not achievement - feeding and fueling your staff members accordingly will greatly impact them, the working environment and your overall business.
So if you've got too many yuppies in the workplace, it's important to remember that these easily dismissed ‘kids' are making the necessary adjustments to get on board. You will begin to notice that the way in which business' traditionally employed and managed staff is outdated, and no longer works.
My advice to you is to spruce things up a little and to take a chance, and a good one at that, on Gen Y - as there are many reasons as to why Y they are so good at business.