What Gen Y Wants

I read an interesting article in Advertising Age on what so-called “millennials” — those born between 1980 and 2000 — want from an employer. Given the difficulty of recruiting (and holding on to) good young talent, it’s not a bad idea to become familiar with their expectations and motivations when it comes to the workplace.


I’m passing along the highlights of what these Gen Y professionals told authors Carol Phillips and Carolyn Torres. Click here to read the whole article.


1. “Teach Me.” It may come as a surprise that while they do believe they are more knowledgeable in certain areas — such as technology — they realize they have a lot to learn from older generations.


2. “Mentor Me.” Millennials want mentors, coaches, and teammates — not just bosses. The participants expressed more loyalty to the people they work with than to their company.


3. “This Job Is Not My Life.” This statement followed a conversation about expectations regarding flex hours, vacation time, and work/life balance in general. They believe that work/life balance will make them even more productive.


4. “Trust Me.” Millennials yearn for autonomy and the authority to have a real impact. They feel especially discouraged when they are micromanaged.


5. “Reward Me.” It’s important to clearly communicate performance expectations and how performance will be rewarded. Compensation was a particularly sensitive topic for millennials, many of whom felt incentives were not designed to maximize performance.


6. “Don’t Take Me For Granted.” When we probed them about workplace loyalty, we heard many say they would like to be loyal but only to companies that “earn” their devotion. Millennials feel their parents’ generation was loyal to a fault. Millennials believe they have more options.

— Judy


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