Wear kid gloves when tackling Generation Y

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. As a baby-boomer, I like to think that we understand modernity. After all,weren’t us baby-boomers the breakthrough generation? The trouble is, we have nomore idea about the preoccupations of Generation Y – the current crop of 18- to25-year-olds – than we have about flying pigs. We don’t understand how they seethe world and the labour market, as current turnover rates amply prove. Up to half of all young workers recruited leave UK firms within only twoyears. This despite a tempting package of inducements from big employers –student loans paid off, golden handshakes, further training, mentoring,progression opportunities, and so on. Are they ungrateful and uncommitted? Or is there simply a yawning gapbetween the expectations of the baby boomers now heading organisations, and theexpectations of Generation Y recruits? Generation Y appears to have a clear understanding of the labour market theywill be occupying for the next 25 years. What they want is to work for anorganisation early in their career that has a reputation for gilding them andtheir CV with such credentials and experience that they have a passport to hopinto their next three jobs. They expect career turbulence. They build intotheir plans the notion they will migrate from one job to another – and that thebest platform for job two is the employer’s character and work nature in jobone. It’s what we at The Work Foundation in a recent report, sponsored bySiemens, call ‘gold-dusting’. Young workers are more demanding about development, more willing to planahead and cultivate networks to promote themselves, and often more likely tovalue – above large salaries – developing future employability. They believepassionately that merit rather than length of service should drive promotion,progression and the acquisition of responsibility. They argue their baby boomermanagers should acknowledge their demonstration of competence more fulsomely. Yet too many managers suspect that ‘high-flier’ or ‘fast-track’ schemes forhigh potential young workers sacrifice solid achievement for shallow andmanufactured visibility. This creates a mutual suspicion that bedevils therelationship, and so many young workers move on. The best way to keep young workers is to give them the skills andexperiences that will make them more attractive to other companies. We need toinvest in them as if they were going to stay in the organisation, despite theevidence they will not. Organisations that behave in this way end up retainingmore of their young recruits than those that do not. Treat your young workers with respect. Understand these birds of passage andyou will find they prove not to be birds of passage at all. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Wear kid gloves when tackling Generation YOn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more