Times are changing and there’s no denying it. In today’s workplace, the ever-shifting nature of your workforce is unavoidable as long-term employees get older and look towards retirement. In many cases, passing the torch to a younger, sometimes less experienced team of workers can be a difficult pill to swallow. The Millennial generation (or Gen Y as they’re often called) has been getting a bad rap when it comes to their work ethic and employment habits. Lazy, entitled, un-focused and selfish – but are these assumptions deserved?
For many of today’s new work force, it’s a big, scary world out there. As college graduates, Gen Y’s face an entirely different job market than the one that their parents or grandparents once entered. Statistics show that the majority of college or university educated millennial’s will leave school dragging with them the highest student-loan debt ratio to date, taking a hefty toll on this keen crop of employees. Combine that with a suffering economy and employers afraid of taking risks on a younger employee creates even scarcer options. Still, willing to work and work hard when opportunities present themselves, these potential employees are well trained and keen to learn more. Plus, the appreciation of a good, well-paying job cannot be understated in the face of a staggering debt.
Baby boomers, widely reputed to be the hard-working, career-focused generation that influenced the success of today’s current workplace, have set a standard of work ethic that’s very hard to compete with. Generation Xers and Gen Y’s have been forced to work in the shadow of that accomplishment, and this constant association often makes them look idle or wanton by comparison. A generation that demands a more healthy work-life balance can only be expected; many of them saw first-hand the real cost of the career-obsessed mindset. Statistically, baby-boomers are the most divorced generation, so it’s only natural that the children of these fallen families should not wish to repeat their parents’ mistakes. Understanding that a healthy work-life balance for all your employees is something that everyone will appreciate. The desire to keep a happy home should not be penalized, but rather respected and considered to help assure that your entire team, both old and new, performs at their highest productivity.
Change Is Rapidly Approaching
No matter where you stand on the differences between your current workforce and today’s up and coming crop of eager Gen Y’s, the fact remains that the evolution is inevitable. Reports show that by 2025, more than 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials; employed by, managing and founding the successful companies of the future. This change is already in effect, as we move towards an increasingly more digital age, and the dependency of which is required to succeed in any lucrative industry. It’s fair to say that Gen Y personalities are in fact quite different, and face a tougher and entirely dissimilar world then their preceding generations. However, cultivating the distinctiveness of their attitudes, drive and ability will help you stay at the front of the herd as we head into a whole new world of industrial possibilities.