Nov 13, 2007

What Gen Y or Millennial employees want

From an email I received:

In a just-released guide, What Millennial Workers Want: How to Attract and Retain Gen Y Employees, Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs examine the professional priorities of the most senior members of Generation Y — those who have already started a career or will soon start one. More than 1,000 adults ages 21 to 28 were polled for the project.

“The research depicts a pragmatic, future-oriented generation that holds many of the same values as its predecessors,” said Reesa Staten, senior vice president and director of workplace research for Robert Half International. “Yet, certain distinctive qualities, such as a desire for very frequent feedback from their managers, are unique to this generation. Generation Y expects a lot of its leaders. Making sure supervisors of Gen Y professionals have supportive management styles can go a long way in attracting and retaining these workers, who will play a greater role in organizations as more baby boomers retire.”

Big expectations of company leaders
Survey respondents rated working with a boss they respect and can learn from as the most important aspect of their work environment, ahead of having a nice office space, a short commute or working for a socially responsible company. Those surveyed also indicated that they expect more “face time” from their supervisors than a weekly status meeting. The majority of Gen Yers (60 percent) want to hear from their managers at least once a day.

Redefining a successful future
Most survey respondents appeared optimistic about the future, but this isn’t a group whose idealism overshadows practical concerns, according to the study. When evaluating job opportunities, for example, the research shows that salary, benefits and room for professional growth are top concerns for this group. While 46 percent of Gen Yers consider their career prospects better than previous generations, many respondents feel they also will have to save more money for retirement and study harder than generations past. In fact, nearly three out of four (73 percent) Gen Yers surveyed said they will likely go back to school to obtain another academic degree or certification.

A corner office or impressive job title doesn’t equal success for Gen Y, the survey results suggest. In fact, respondents ranked “a more prestigious job title” last among seven factors that would prompt them to leave their current positions. Opportunities for professional growth and advancement rated a greater career priority, the research shows.

Keeping their options open
Like most employees, Gen Yers crave challenge on the job. The top factors that would tempt Gen Yers to look for greener pastures are added pay and benefits, opportunities for advancement, and more interesting work. Even firms that provide some of these incentives may not be able to keep Gen Y staff members for the long term. Four out of 10 respondents said they plan to stay at their job up to two years; only one in five foresees staying at his/her current job six years or longer.

“Millennials never stop marketing themselves,” said Tom Musbach, managing editor, Yahoo! HotJobs. “This means companies must constantly be in recruiting mode with current employees.”

Inherently, it's always a great idea to be in a "recruiting" mode to retain employees. However the irony is that recruiting and HR generalist positions are becoming too divorced in businesses to have any real conversation about the expectations and promises given to employees, whether of Gen X or Y !

I wonder if a survey like this was conducted in India what would it say?