By Dani Greening, Artworker/Copywriter

Who Really are Generation Y?

By 2025, Millennials will make up a staggering 75% of the global workforce. But who really are Generation Y, and how are they evolving the workplace of today?

As a Millennial myself, I thought I’d explore this phenomenon.

We grew up in a time where technology was, and still is, our go-to. FitBits, iPhones, Laptops, iPads and apps; these are all part of our culture, we are subconsciously powered by them.

And this necessity for technological assistance transfers into our professional life.

So I wasn’t too surprised to find out that Generation Y, find it can be difficult to express professional needs within a company and also learn things at a faster pace and more efficiently.


Common Traits of Millennials

Research shows that Millennials exhibit four specific main traits:

  • The first is that we have an increased focus on our work/life balance, and we’re attentive to how the two counteract one another.
  • We have an amplified hyper awareness of others, whether that be our peers, colleagues, or even competitors.
  • As expected, technology plays a major role when deciphering our key traits. We are comfortable with the digital world, and are also less dependent upon face-to-face communications, with virtual communication reigning superior as it is quick, simple, and easy.
  • Restriction and delay are constraints within our working sphere, and it’s something we refuse to endure.

Now in most workplaces, these traits are accommodated for. In fact, most companies realise they must cater towards the Millennials needs. But with workforces comprising of both Millennials (16 – 35 years old), Generation X (36 – 50 years old), and Baby Boomers (51 – 69 years old), employers need to facilitate for a multi-generational workforce, which requires greater focus towards retention, transfer, relevance and self-evolution.

Knowing vs Doing

In terms of learning experiences, each and every employer has faced the same, simple problem; making learning relevant. Whether you’re 16 or 60, if what you are learning isn’t a) interesting, b) valuable, or c) relevant, then it is futile, and will not resonate in your mind. However, what sets us millennials apart from other generations is that we’re more inclined to do as oppose to know.

Knowledge is far less advantageous than being able to physically do something and I totally agree with this theory. Sitting behind a computer screen watching a 1-2 hour seminar would personally not be as efficient for me to learn as having a 5 minute how-to demonstration/webinar, where I can try and test out what I’ve learnt. Learning how this generation take in information is the golden nugget, and is key to attracting and attaining Millennials.

I am definitely true to these traits as a Millennial. We prefer typing over writing, internet over TV, and doing rather than knowing.

With the need for immediate responses, staying connected, we thrive off the ‘now’, in fact we require the ‘now’ in order to survive.

So where are the challenges with this generation? Boredom.

An aspect of our technological capability which allows us to work faster than our elder colleagues means that us young Millennials are nearly twice as likely to be bored at work, as opposed to the Baby Boomer generation.

In fact, most Millennials would choose having a low paid job that they love over a well-paid job that they hate. Some say that this is the result of the lack of scope to learn new skills, to do something relevant or valuable.

Engaging Millennials is a Challenge

Millennials need to grow within their roles in order to remain mentally engaged. This is why more and more young people are working 5-hour days over the average 7/8 hours. Research backs this and states that an interesting career, along with flexible working hours will result in a longstanding, satisfied employee.

But that’s just the thing, employers can’t figure out how to engage and how to be relevant to their younger workforce.

In order to make steady progress with Millennials, you need to consider how to measure the effects of how you are training this generation. Question, was it relevant? How did it meet their needs? How helpful was it? It is important to think about how technology will advance in the future and how the needs of your employees will too.

Keeping up with your workforce is hard, and keeping up with Millennials is even harder. But if you get it right, you’ll hit a goldmine.

Watch our webinar recording Millennials Schlemennials: What’s REALLY Changing Today’s Workplace Dynamics? or download a copy of the slides

Write for us printed on a typewriter