A lot has been said about Gen Y professionals, and regardless of what your perceptions might be, it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to recognise the value Gen Y’s bring to a business, and their vital role as current and future leaders. Those in the Gen Y age bracket (born between the early 1980s and mid 1990s*) now make up more than a third of the Australian workforce, putting them ahead of Gen X by 3 per cent and growing. According to Forbes, by 2025 nearly 75 per cent of the global workforce will be Gen Y. Perhaps most importantly, Gen Y workers are now reaching an age where they are moving into key management roles. Some are already in them. For organisations to survive and thrive in the future, employers need to act now to harness the management potential of the rapidly growing Gen Y workforce. An exciting opportunity The entry of Gen Y into the management ranks presents an exciting opportunity to embrace new thinking, implement positive change and reap the benefits of a generation that is:
- Well-educated and hungry to learn
- Tech-savvy and innovative
- Entrepreneurial and business-minded
- Collaborative and adaptable
- Ambitious, productive and results focused.
The how and Y If you’re an employer, here are some tips for attracting, nurturing and retaining the best Gen Y managers…
- Ramp-up your technology: The Y generation understands technology and won’t endure ‘old ways’ of doing things. To excite them, embrace new technology and involve them in the process.
- Enable an exciting future: Gen Y’s are ambitious, so explain your business plans and your strategy for their career advancement.
- Collaborate: People in Gen Y love being involved, contributing and collaborating. Fostering these traits will reward them and your business.
- Train, train, train: This generation wants to learn, improve and advance, so offer frequent opportunities for mentorship and professional development – especially management and leadership training – and enjoy improved performance, engagement and retention.
- Embrace the change: To adapt to Gen Y’s unique approach and attitudes to work and life, consider flexible working arrangements that look beyond traditional hierarchies and the typical ‘nine-to-five’.
Adapting to meet the needs of Gen Y – and fostering their leadership skills – will help future-proof your organisation, put you a step ahead of your competitors, and sow the seeds for rapid business growth.
*The Gen Y age birth range varies by source, but is widely referenced as 1980-1994.