People belonging to ‘Generation Y’ believe they have higher morals and better communication skills than all preceding generations, but are less efficient and less adaptable despite a fast-changing workplace, research has found.
A study of 4,000 members of the Baby-boomer, Generation-X and Generation-Y age-groups by people assessment firm Talent Q found that people in their early 20s claimed they had higher ethical standards than older generations, as well as greater attention to detail and better social skills.
However, researchers also found they were generally less organised and less efficient, something Talent Q’s chairman Roger Holdsworth said was concerning.
“The days where a person has a job for life are long gone, so it’s perverse that the Generation Y psyche appears to show less adaptability, efficiency and dynamism than older generations,” said Holdsworth.
“The 20-somethings we studied were also less resilient, less confident at negotiation and decision-making, less influential in a leadership capacity and less able or willing to follow the rules – all of which is concerning for the future.
“But there were positives too. In stark contrast to popular perceptions of surly, selfish and aggressive youth, the younger generation claims to have a stronger ethical code, is more socially aware and more in tune with others’ behaviour than its elders.”
The research also found the Baby-boomers were the most likely to adopt new techniques and most likely to favour radical ideas, but were also less ambitious and less socially confident.
“Perhaps because of growing up in the 1960s, radicalism still shapes the Baby-boomer psyche,” said Holdsworth.
“They remain more adaptable to change than younger people – very much confounding the view that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”