Generation Y and the Workplace


Recently I came across with a lot of studies related to Gen Y and their behaviors in corporate life. I am a member of this generation, myself, so I am writing this article for everyone who is working with people that are part of this generation.

The studies I have read categorize Gen Y as a generation who like to hop on jobs frequently. Also, they mention that this generation generally stays in one job around 2 years. Companies don’t like the fact that these employees are not loyal to the company and hops on jobs so easily and frequently because they feel that they waste a lot of resources investing in these employees. Studies also point out that this generation is great at multi-tasking but at the same time, they don’t like to be dictated on what to do. Instead, they like to be convinced of why they should work on a task. Moreover, they like to have their freedom and flexibility so they don’t like typical 9 to 5 work environments where they should come to work at exactly the same time every day. Studies also bring up that companies hire these employees to be innovative but don’t get the innovative performance that they expect.

When I was reading these, I felt that I fit into maybe not all but most of these classifications myself. Unfortunately, the studies only show you the facts but don’t explain what you should do with these facts or how you should get the maximum performance from Gen Y employees. Therefore, I decided to help you as a member of this generation. Below are some of the tips on what you can do to get the most out of this generation and keep them happy in their job at the same time.

1)      Give them some room to be innovative. If you want them to be innovative, you should give them their space. You should give them the freedom to be creative.

2)      If they come up with an awesome idea which will benefit to the corporation, let them implement it. Their idea shouldn’t be put aside due to the obstacles of corporate bureaucracy. Otherwise, their motivation will decrease significantly.

3)      Don’t mandate them what they should do. Explain to them why they should do it. Also, if they want to do a task in a way different than yours and produce the same results, let them do it. Don’t tell them that they should do everything in your way.

4)      Let them come to work in flexible hours. If they want to come to work at 10am instead of 9am and leave at 6pm instead of 5pm, let them do it.

5)      Let them rotate departments or different offices nationally or globally. Gen Y is pretty mobile so they like to explore different places. If you force them to stay in the same environment for a long time, they will be unhappy and their performance will drop.

6)      Let them organize team events, community activities or sport activities in the workplace. Gen Y is a very social generation. Thus, they like to continue socializing in the workplace as well.

7)      This generation likes to use social media to demonstrate their personal brand. Give them a similar environment such as a corporate chatter where they can keep showing their personal brand at the workplace.