The expectations of Generation Y are challenging the traditional ways in which companies have so far operated. They are now forced to transform themselves. All the way through.
HR directors’ headache, managers' nightmare, what hasn't been written about Generation Y? Spoiled, overly independent, individualistic, versatile, demanding to the extreme, and ultimately not very loyal to employers, they are simply "uncontrollable". Children of successive economic crises with harmful consequences on employment and of the digital revolution, the individuals who make up this generation, born approximately between 1980 and the late 1990’s, are therefore being accused of all evils. Often wrongly so.
The inescapable expectations of Generation Y
Generation Y differs from its elders both in the way it operates and in its expectations. For the latter, the traditional forms of work organization, themselves inherited from the Industrial Revolution, are outdated patterns. The new digital ecosystem, characterized by the multiplication of collaborative tools, is the perfect receptacle for the aspirations of these "Millennials", the other name given to this generation: a healthy work-life balance, valuing the individual, transparency and ethical behavior, emphasis on independent thinking, respect among colleagues... Generation Y is first and foremost in search of meaning, including in the workplace. And its slogan could be "Work to live, not live to work".
Companies are rethinking their organization
Faced with these expectations, companies must rethink their organization to meet all of these new aspirations. They have little choice: by 2025, the "Millennials" will account for three-quarters of the working population. Super connected, they now hold in their hands the tools that allow them to evaluate companies which are now condemned to adapt in order to attract and retain the best talents. This requires respect for major principles, some of which cannot be ignored. They must therefore:
- Take care of their employer brand, as a "Millennial" will always research a company before applying. This forces the company to work on its marketing and communication.
- Forget vertical management and its overwhelming hierarchy and adopt a horizontal management style in order to create a climate of trust. The "Millennial" needs to feel that his work has a real value for the company.
- Involve the employee in the company life.
- Communicate on the "why" of the company's decisions rather than on the “how”. Indeed, he needs to have a 360° vision of the strategy deployed.
- Respect the balance between private and professional life and offer optimum working conditions.
- Be flexible, particularly with regard to teleworking, coworking, working hours, etc.
- Enable employees to upgrade their skills by offering appropriate training so that they can remain competitive in the labor market. “Millennials" want to progress in their careers. If their company is not able to satisfy this need, they will go elsewhere to seek satisfaction.
Generation Y, a major asset
Wrongly portrayed as the ugly duckling of the workforce, Generation Y is first and foremost a reflection of the transformations of an era. It is also the most educated generation in history, and the most feminized. It is therefore a real asset for companies which, after a period of mistrust, have for many already begun their transformation. Generation Y offers companies an unparalleled ability to keep pace with innovation, an open-mindedness and a pool of ideas that they can only benefit from. To them, Generation Y is an essential performance driver.