Which generation are you a part of? Can you describe the other two?
Among the words below, which are the ones generally associated to Generation Y?
Several generations working together have made attracting, managing and retaining employees ever more challenging. Each generation has distinct characteristics, unique needs and different wants. The question becomes: how can we harmonize the workplace for all generations? Companies with innovative solutions will come out on top, attracting and retaining star employees as recruitment becomes more competitive.
The first step in dealing with this reality is to learn about the different characteristics and preferences of each generation in order to tailor HR practices to best satisfy the collective group. However, most importantly, business owners must quickly strive to understand Generation Y because not only is this is the emerging in the workforce, it represents the future of a business.
Of the words shown at the beginning of this article, individuals of Generation Y (1981-1999) are generally characterized as confident, ambitious, tech-savvy and team players. Various studies have explained that this generation wants meaningful work, open and continuous communication, feedback and guidance. They thrive on flexibility, like to be involved in decision-making and expect to be rewarded based on results. Contrary to preceding generations, salary is not a primary motivator; essentially Generation Y looks for three key values in their employers:
- Flexible schedules / blending of work-life
- Development opportunities
- Team collaboration and cohesiveness
If businesses focus on demonstrating these three values through company programs and/or policies, they will have a much easier time attracting and retaining employees, and not only Generation Y. Studies have shown that Generation X also has very similar values, with the main difference being that Generation Y will ask for them.
In order to analyze if these values are visible in a company, here are a few points of reflection:
- Does the company have a clear policy on working hours?
- Is there flexibility?
- Is it possible to work part-time or on a reduced schedule?
- Can an employee easily request a day off for personal reasons?
- Do employees receive regular training or mentoring?
- Are employees given timely feedback or performance reviews?
- Are advancement opportunities possible and known by your employees?
- Are employees aware of the company’s values and are they in line with their own?
- Is open communication and sharing of information encouraged?
- Do the employees feel that they are contributing to the company’s mission?
As recruitment becomes more competitive, retaining your staff is a growing HR challenge that must be tackled quickly. Companies that are ready to attract future recruits will set themselves apart from the rest.
Spring 2013 (download the PDF)