Today's younger employees have a reputation for entitlement and disloyalty. But research shows that, managed well, these employees are highly loyal and team-oriented.
To find out what employees of Generation Y (ages 22 to 29) want, the Corporate Executive Board surveyed more than 400,000 employees from different generations about their approach to work. Their findings may not be all that surprising: younger and older generations have similar needs, but prefer that employers satisfy those needs in different ways.
Gen Y employees care more about how their pay compares to their peers than they do about the actual amount. Companies can enhance transparency by sharing information about bonuses and pay ranges or bands tied to job titles or responsibilities.
The study showed that 36 percent of Gen Y employees feel obliged to stay with their employers, while only 31 percent of Gen X employees and 32 percent of baby boomers felt the same way. Also, 47 percent of Gen Y employees believe the boss has their best interests in mind, compared with 40 percent of Gen X-ers and 41 percent of baby boomers.
Gen Y employees want to explore career options before focusing on a single direction. That means the company that offers multiple career paths will be more likely to gain their loyalty. It also means that hiring back employees who quit to go elsewhere may be good business.
Do Gen Y-ers fritter away their time on Facebook and texting? The study showed that, while that was part of their personal lives, only 18 percent of Gen X and Gen Y employees predominately use networking tools, text messages or instant messaging to communicate with their managers, which is not markedly different from the 15 percent of baby boomers who do the same.
In general, to attract younger workers, companies may need to provide more openness and transparency, but they may gain extremely loyal Gen Y employees in return.
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