Today’s workforce has a great balance of experienced professionals and fresh talent. At the head of the pack is the group of professionals known as Generation Y. Generation Y is categorized by the following traits:
- They were born between 1980 and 2000.
- There are nearly 100 million of them.
- They grew up with exposure to events like 9/11, Columbine, Hurricane Katrina and turmoil in the Middle East
- They are subject to very high amounts of student loan debt
- They are most confident when working with technology.
With every generation, you’ll find that there are different ways to get the most productivity and job satisfaction. Generation Y is no different. Here are some key traits of Generation Y professionals (also known as “Millennials”):
- They want “more.” For Generation Y, they value their time and contributions much more than what they achieve during the 9 to 5 workday. They place a high value on their contributions to society as a whole. And they seek ways to do that outside of the typical workday. To help provide ample opportunity for your Generation Y employees to pursue this part of their personality, be sure to provide outlets for employees to engage in meaningful activities outside of the office. Also consider offering flex time, telecommuting opportunities or team volunteer activities.
- They haven’t stopped wanting to learn. They may just be coming out of college, but Generation Y professionals aren’t done learning. These pros are seeking out opportunities to learn more, not just via books and training, but through shadowing and mentoring within your company. Provide defined mentoring and learning opportunities for these employees, and your organization will reap the rewards.
- They’re ready to move on (soon). Most of us would love to find a company that will keep them happy and growing for the next 40 years, but Generation Y is comprised of realists. They want long-term, but they don’t expect to find it. To keep your Millennials happy and thinking about the long term, define career paths and growth opportunities for young professionals. With a defined path in front of them, they are much more likely to stick with you in the long haul.