Generation Y: an opportunity to seize
The emergence of generation Y in companies undermines current management models. Their approach to business and management and their job market expectations are clearly different from those of previous generations.
It is therefore important to ask how the behaviour of this generation should influence managerial habits and practices. For example, can we ask this population for efficiency, creativity and versatility in structures that would remain rigid and characterised by control and hierarchy?
Generation Y grew up with the disruption of the Internet, instant access to information, instant chats and constant surfing between social networks. Some critically conclude that employees of this generation are less inclined to invest, less engaged and more volatile, thus changing employers more easily.
The results of empirical research in recent years show that they have different expectations that affect their commitment. This trend is confirmed by the engagement surveys we have been conducting for 20 years in various sectors of activity.
RESPECT FOR EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN TITLE
We observe that, according to this generation’s conception of the world, respect is obtained thanks to completed actions and experience. It does not result from the hierarchical position of a person or their job title.
This generation aspires to have a professional environment where colleagues share their know-how in order to benefit from personal development.
On the other hand, finding real meaning in their work and understanding what their contribution brings has become fundamental to them. They want a managerial culture that is fair, equitable, respectful and promotes collaboration. In addition, a give and take relationship with their organisation is what they want.
Generation Y are not prepared to sacrifice their private life anyway. In short, they aspire to be autonomous, responsible and considered as adults in order to proudly serve a goal that makes sense to them.
FLEXIBILITY, A VECTOR OF COMMITMENT
The results of our engagement surveys show that companies that know how to be flexible usually have more committed Y employees.
How can companies adapt to reduce the generational bias generated by a misunderstanding of mutual expectations? A questioning of the managerial function is essential. The goal is to strengthen and retain employee commitment and, through cause and effect, to strengthen individual and collective performance.
Several avenues are available to tomorrow’s managers. First of all, the appreciation of employees through more feedback.
Indeed, this generation is open to constructive criticism and shows a need for attentiveness, recognition and personal and professional support.
On the other hand, regarding working conditions, generation Y people consider it natural to have flexibility over hours worked and to have freedom of choice. The organisation must therefore favour the setting and monitoring of clear and precise objectives. The ” when ” and the ” what ” are to be defined by the manager but the employees want to remain in charge of the ” how “.
TRANSPARENCY AS AN ESSENTIAL VALUE
When employees pursue an objective that makes sense to them, while having the power to decide their actions, they will derive intrinsic motivation from it.
Nowadays, transparency must be an essential value for the company because generation Y employees operate in an environment where all information is accessible in one click.
To conclude, a measurement tool that highlights the expectations of this generation and assesses its commitment to the concepts of change management would create new synergies. This would provide valuable support to help drive and build a corporate culture that fits their needs.