Often we hear comments from Managers that Gen Y are reckless with their choices and if we extend the feedback to their parents and teachers we might even discover words like free spirited, hopeless and at times words like smart and quick learners.
Is it fair to term this whole Generation into some stereotyping words and more critically is it right to stereotype them without understanding and appreciating their thoughts beyond their actions or attitude towards life?
So why is this Generation’s attitude towards work so different, the reasons are plenty lets reason out a few:
The Overall state of the employment market i.e. Demand V.s Supply. In the previous generation there was lesser Demand in Jobs and Greater Supply of Manpower resulting in Scarcity which in turn resulted in a psyche of Controlling of Hoarding. While Gen Y has seen a reverse trend with more jobs available than ever resulting in a environment of abundance and there by building a attitude of confidence and free waling and at times bordering over confidence too.
The second reason is today Gen Y starts on Second or even Third layer of Maslow Hierarchy of Needs as they are well supported by their Parents even in their adulthood. This means when they walk into the workplace their needs and aspirations are quite different from that of previous generations.
With limited choices and networks the previous generations approached Careers as their ultimate goal in life which will help them get their ‘Nirvana’ while for the current generation growing with no much of information, knowledge and choices their definitions of Dreams are often beyond Career.
In short, for Gen Y career is only a means to achieve their end which is often beyond while for previous generations Career was a End and all their lives they spent revolving around it.
Considering all these factors the attitude of Gen Y towards work and careers can be summed up as ‘Living- In Relationship’ where in the association with the organization is there till it’s a win-win with zero tolerance for differences as there is no binding of any commitments. While for the previous generations the commitments were of a kind of marriage where a great degree of tolerance were build in and a great pride
is associated with the tenure of relationship not with how many relationships were you able to handle.
Does this mean we will continue to have flow of Gen Y at their own whims and fancies and organizations cannot do much to stop this mad rush. The answer is ‘YES WE CAN’ and some of the possible solutions are :
Acknowledge that this Generation is different and old policies and processes need to be reinvented now.
Build Trust among the Managers (previous Generations and today’s Generation) by enabling forums to understand each other more. Use ideas like reverse Mentoring.
Encourage Managers to Listen Respectfully and make them flexible to be dissent.
All Generations have poised challenges to workplaces and Gen Y is no different. The gravity of challenge is enormous today because of changed work & culture environment wherein all are connected more than ever, wherein expressing emotions openly is a fashion, wherein thinking for self is considered as norm and so on and so forth . . .
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