Managing & Engaging the New Workforce
Generation Y, otherwise known as the
millennial generation, refers to individuals born between 1982 and 2005.Hiring
new, young talent just out of college is challenging some established practices
of management and changing today's corporate culture. With the shift of the
younger employment force from Generation X to Generation Y companies are finding that there are
different attitudes and work habits that need to be incorporated into the
existing culture. With companies now having different generational mentalities
and priorities, the corporate melting pot has new challenges ahead.
New college graduates are entering
the workforce, having never known a world without computers, cell phones,
email, or instant messaging. They have been brought up in a fast-paced, instant
world that is always moving and changing. Their parents valued their opinions
from the time they were toddlers and gave them choices, rather than making
decisions for them .These younger employees are looking for innovating ways to
complete tasks that may go against the style of the older workforce.
This is the newest generation to
enter the workforce. Leaders across disciplines are taking note of the
challenges and opportunities associated with training this unique group.
Generation Y & what they want?
Adapting to the needs of 'Generation
Y' is a growing priority for many employers today, as they represent the next
generation of talent for any organization, and recruiters today are saying that
the competition for talent in today's marketplace is stronger than at any time
in the last seven years.
"The graduate entering an
organization today wants a 'relational' contract with their employer as opposed
to the more traditional 'transactional' structure, where loyalty was given in
return for reward. Today's graduate wants to believe in his/her place of work
and the overall objectives and business practices of the organization for which
they work. Generation Y employees want to work with an organization, not for
Generation Y prefers to work in groups with
hands-on experiences. They enjoy trial and error. Generation Y does not highly
value reading and listening to lectures. They want learning to be creative,
interactive, and fun; and they enjoy thinking outside the box. They are
actually hungry for general direction and ideas to pursue. Generally, they
explore, share, and investigate far more thoroughly than required.
Generation Y & their growing
By 2025, the millennial generation
will comprise over 75% of the global workforce. They want to work in
environments which foster innovative thinking, they want to develop their
skills, they want to nurture leadership skills and they want to work for
organizations which make a positive contribution to society. The tools for
employers to use to engage Generation Y include creating meaning and purpose in
their work, reinforcing the values and vision of their organization to them,
emphasizing opportunity and challenge and showing an interest in their personal
Millennials want an environment
where the lines of communication and rules are explicit and firm. They dislike
ambiguity. As a result, they seem to prefer a more lengthy orientation period
to digest the information and understand what is expected. From the beginning,
it is important to clearly apprise them, particularly regarding timeliness,
dress, and use of social networking .
Mentoring (or Parenting) Generation
Generation Y wants to have a close
relationship with authority figures, just as they did with their parents. They
want to feel that supervisors care about them personally. They want to feel
special. Generation Y prefers to work with superiors who are approachable,
supportive, good communicators, and good motivator.
One approach is to reconceptualize
the role of academic advisor to include more of a parental function with
regular meetings and personal attention. Mentor meetings would focus on
summarizing progress, reinforcing messages of professionalism, and teaching problem
solving. Mentoring should also focus on developing decision making skills,
contemplation, and self-reflection.
Role of business schools in Generation Y Learning
As a first step, members of
Generation Y may need to be encouraged to develop some 'basic' skills in their
education. For example, verbal reasoning and written English along with mental
arithmetic and concepts of budgeting were all listed as key items by respondents.
Involving them in Team-based activities help in understanding team dynamics and
how individuals support team goals. Other soft skills such as listening,
understanding personal impact, persuasion, influencing and people management need
to be identified as areas for development.
schools need to focus on nitty -gritty of
general management and also about a functional specialization so that the
students can become jack of all trades and master of management. The Indian
Business schools should reinvent themselves with changing times and redesign
their academic curriculum for facing the current challenges in the businessenvironment.
The course curriculum should be designed to suit new perspectives for building
managerial and leadership skills. The faculties should be from excellent
academic background with an industry exposure. They should be a special breed
of people driven by passion rather money. They need to inspire and motivate the
students through right communication skills. They should preferably have
industry experience in a reputed organization. It is desirable to have research
experience in management along with consultancy and teaching experience.
Generation Y youths have a different
attitude towards work. They do
not want to work as hard as their parents but spend their life in a meaningful
way. They do not live to work, they work to live. They can be described as ambitious and self-confident.
They have high expectations and seek new challenges and are not afraid to raise questions if something is unclear. Retention of the best new
talent and failure to keep a high proportion of GEN Y'engaged' and happy in the
workplace is a constant challenge for organizations
to build a stronger nation for generations to come and to bring about great
change within our communities, nation and world, it's crucial that the leaders
of our generation understand that great things will not always occur overnight,
but will take hard work, diligence, patience and time to manifest most of the