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Is Gen Y really that demanding?

Is Gen Y really that demanding?

May 19, 2014

Gen Y, or Millennials as they are otherwise known, will make up 70 per cent of the global workforce by 2030, so what is it they want to get out of the workplace?

This year’s Deloitte Millennial Survey, titled Big demands and big expectations, concluded that Gen Ys want to work for companies that ‘foster innovative thinking, develop their skills and make a positive contribution to society’.

But does this really make them that demanding?

Engagement specialist Natalie Waterworth doesn’t think so. As co-founder of Talented Heads – she helps businesses to engage with Gen Y employees.

She said: “I don’t think Millennial workers are any more demanding than previous generations have been.

“What is very different is they now have the platforms to make their voices heard – especially with social media.

“Because they can speak out, they have been described as a self-entitled generation.”

Natalie believes that understanding their next leaders’ development requirements is simpler than some businesses might realise.

She said: “Having an employee development structure that is fair and transparent is an easy way companies can lead millennials and ensure they are happy in the workplace.

“They see through things such as leadership structures that aren’t a meritocracy.

“They want to see fairness in the way people are promoted and they want to respect their leaders and managers.

“These things aren’t really anything new and if businesses think about it – shouldn’t their HR teams be covering these ‘demands’ for all workforce generations anyway?”

When asked about her views on the perceived ‘revolving door’ of Gen Y in the workplace – where employees aim to move on after two years – Natalie agrees that there is an element of truth but that this can even be turned into an advantage.

She added: “It’s important for businesses to try and curb this revolving door that millennials have become renowned for but also to use the ‘one in one out’ element to their benefit.

“Taking bits of innovation from one business to the next has always been one of the most valuable parts of a new employee and in that respect there is a sharing economy of passing on innovation and efficiency through the turnover of Gen Y employees that businesses could harness.”

See the Millennial Survey infographic here…