‘Generation Y’ assumptions flawed, survey reveals

Many of the stereotypes of so-called Generation Y workers have been turned on their head by the findings of a survey of 16,000 employees.

People born between 1980 and 1994 are actually less bothered about corporate social responsibility and having a modern working environment than older workers, according to the One Size Does Not Fit All report.

The firm behind the study – employee engagement specialist TalentDrain – said it highlighted a glaring need for employers to rethink the way they manage 14- to 28-year-olds.

Authors Ron Eldridge and Anthony Miles said in a joint statement: “People are different, so rather than adopting a blanket approach to staff retention, organisations need to be more flexible.

“They should provide a shopping-list of commitment factors – such as salary, career progression, personal growth and work-life balance – and discuss these with each employee.”

Generation Y workers are generally described as ambitious and demanding, wanting an optimum work-life balance as well as challenging and interesting work, a green employer and a modern workplace.

However, the TalentDrain report found that the importance attributed to work-life balance increased with age, while older workers were also more likely to value their working conditions than those in their 20s.

Just under half of workers aged 30 or under held a managerial or professional role, compared to 72% of those aged between 31 and 50, and 68% of those 51 or older.

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