Managing Generation Y Workforce


ManagingGeneration Y Workforce

ManagingGeneration Y Workforce



MostModern organizations have a workforce mix of four generations.Therefore age diversity has become an issue of concern for manyorganizations and how to handle the workforce with generationaldifferences. Each generation is unique in terms of their work valuesand core values. Managers therefore, are experiencing a diverseworkforce more than ever. This is particularly the case for EdwardJones, a company based in US with a workforce of more than 38,000employees. As much as human resource is the most resourceful asset inan organization, the exploitation of its capabilities highly dependson the comprehension of the needs of each generation. Generation Y orthe Millennials is the newest generation joining the work industryand it consists of individuals born between 1977 and 2002 (Lipkin&ampPerrymore, 2009).They are different from other generations especially when it comes towork related issues and attitude towards work. It is theunderstanding of the perceptions and expectations of the Millennialsabout work related issues that will assist Edward Jones Company to beable to recruit, manage and retain the employees under this categorythereby maximizing their contributions to the organization.

Characteristicsof Generation Y workforce

Thereare varied characteristics to distinguish the Millennials from otherset of generations. First, Millennials are well vast withtechnological knowhow having being brought up in a dynamicallychanging environment with technological advancement in modes ofcommunication and information sharing techniques such as mobilephones and internet from time to time they have adopted a newculture of embracing change. This generation not only expects changebut also drive change. By using technology, generation Y can executeoffice work while still at home, reading and sending emails. Theincreased accessibility of emails has bridged the gap between homeand workplace thereby sufficiently utilizing the available time. Their biggest challenge is the fact that they have quickly adoptedthe new techniques but they have to face institutions which are stillusing the old models.

Similarly,Generation Y, are self- reliant band independent. This probablyexplains their preference for flexible working hours in order tomaintain a substantial work life balance. On an individual level, thegeneration Y people are said to be energetic and possess highentrepreneurial skills thus little or no entitlement and would resignany moment they feel dissatisfied with their current positions. Theytherefore, base their efforts on accomplishment of short term goalsexpecting freedom when executing their tasks and immediate feedbackor reward for their efforts (Lipkin&ampPerrymore, 2009). The Millennials believe that they can achieve what other generationswere doing in a day with fewer hours since they are more efficient.Therefore, they demand more flexible working hours. In modern days,use of smartphones, telecommuting and remote internet accessfacilitates the flexibility they desire.

Inaddition, the Millennials considers themselves as high achieving andhas set out individual goals to be achieved within a specificduration. Hence, they are willing to take on pressures at workembracing feedback as they use it for self- improvement. They preferwork places offering training and development opportunities and clearlong term progression opportunities (Tulgan&ampMartin, 2001). They demand respect and merit especially when contributing theirideas to various projects and do not recognize age in corporateforums. For them, respect is as a result of integrity and competence.

Thegeneration Y people are team oriented. This is facilitated byadvanced telecommunication means where they are able to constantlyintegrate with each other thereby collaborating and sharinginformation with other members (Tulgan&ampMartin, 2001).They look for opportunities to learn from their supervisors and oldergenerations, therefore, preferring collaborative and inclusivemanagement other than management based on commands. They are sociableand would frequently consult from the old members in theorganizations having in mind that the knowledge acquired will play abig role in their career advancement. They can come up with virtualnetworks within a short time for social or professional purposes.Their multi-cultural techniques make it easy for generation Y toadapt to new environments. Mostly, they are culturally and ethnicallydiverse since they grew up in presence of multicultural families andare exposed to alternative lifestyles (Tulgan&ampMartin, 2001).For example, a greater percentage of generation Y approves blacks andwhitesmarriages thereby creating diverse cultures. They easily learnnew trends and appreciate each other cultural, racial, religion, sexorientation and status quo differences (Sheahan,2006).They have grown up in rapidly changing environment and thus, they arenot accustomed to follow the cultural any practices or to owncultural identities. They are not likely to uphold culturesuperiority making it easy for them to interact across the globe.

Recruitment,management and retention of Generation Y workforce

Byunderstanding the above characteristics, organizations are able toposition themselves in ways that make them marketable to generation Yby matching their organizational goals with the Y’s sense ofpurpose. This includes formulating policies that are in line withtheir professional requirements such as more flexible working hourspossibilities of taking days off can be an eye catcher for themillennials (Tulgan&ampMartin, 2001).While recruiting staff, the organizations should uphold the currenttechnology and advertise the vacant positions on internet- socialnetworking websites. Technology use provides a virtual forum where bya qualified employee meets a potential employer complementing withgeneration Y’s urge for flexibility. Generation Y will preferonline applications to physical job application (Sheahan,2006).

Inorder to manage the Millennials, the managers should incorporate aculture which will promote free communication and eliminate thebarriers that come along with structured hierarchies. Consideringother employees as colleagues instead of subordinates will enhancemore commitment from generation Y. They prefer a work environmentwhere humor and frequent challenges are present (Lipkin&ampPerrymore, 2009).The type of leadership strategies adopted by the managers indifferent organization is important while handling generation Y.Transformational managers encourages employees to perform beyondtheir potential giving them new challenges whereas a transactionalmanager operates on contingent rewards whereby he rewards goodbehavior and impose negative reinforcement on unwarranted behavior.Lastly, the Laissez-faire type of leadership entails delegating allresponsibilities for decision making, thus becoming a non- leader. Aproper mix of these leadership strategies will work out for thebenefit of the Generation Y employee. However, generation Y willprefer a transformational leader more than a transactional leader.The managers should be the pace setters in the organizations, theyshould be competent and accountable to their actions (Tulgan&ampMartin, 2001).They should also be able to demonstrate high ethical standards andhonesty so as to match the expectations of the Generation Y. Insidepromotions should be based on merit and where by promotion is awardedto the best performing employee so as not to demotivate theemployees. Constant use of collaborative and inclusive managementaspects will motivate the generation Y, creating a feel that they arepart and parcel of the organization (Sheahan,2006).The millennials prefers an environment where they are involved incritical decision making and have an opportunity to be constantlychallenged.

Themanagers should also ensure that they engage the employees in teamwork where possible, this is because the millennials enjoy working ingroups, collaborating and sharing information with other teammembers. They should also introduce couching on individual levelthis is in line with the individualism character displayed by theMillennials. They are likely to feel more valued when the managersworks with them at an individual level as this will complement theirdesire to be coached or mentored for faster job progression. Inaddition, while setting up performance goals, the managers shouldbreak the long term goals into several short term assignments as themillennials prefer to work on smaller short term assignments. Incorporating strategies such as Just In Time strategies, to matchwith the Y’s work habits and thus allow them to complete theassignments in smaller segments (Sheahan,2006).Their compliance with the current technology especially internet andonline tools can be utilized by an organization and will result tocost saving and enhance efficiency.

Most of the millennials, progress to another job in less than fiveyears.The millennials characteristics fit with the current economictrend. As the economic downtown is over, and the recession haspicked, their ability to multi task can help the organizations copewith recession hazards. This is more so because of their ability tohandle several tasks and their willingness to move to newresponsibilities and new locationsIn order to retain such employees,employers should provide internal networks for job progression thatwill motivate them to move to the next job level. This is facilitatedby progressive training opportunities building up their knowledge andother monetary incentive to strengthen the retention. (Turesky2006). The organizations should also introduce benefits package thatresonates with the employees individual life demands. This willinclude, offering medical covers and debt relief programs. TheMillennials are entering the job market with a huge debt therefore,debt relief programs will free them from the debt burden henceattracting the Millennials (Hira 2007). If the organization hasaddressed factors such as remuneration package, benefits and careergrowth and yet the employee turnover is still rampant, it may need toinclude more outdoor activities such as team lunch, miniature golfactivities and charity activities where the employees are expectedto volunteer. Generation Y employees usually volunteer to do charityactivities. Although there is no single strategy that is sufficienton its own, the organization may integrate various programs toaddress the most pressing employee need, thus reducing the turnover. However, the managers should also expect some level of attrition fromsome employees who are already aware of their value and will alwaysbe looking out for new opportunities in the market, whether theprevailing conditions are favorable or not (Lipkin&ampPerrymore, 2009).


Inconclusion, it is unquestionable that organizations are experiencingdynamic changes in labor force. The generation Y employees bringabout values and principles that are likely to change the managementstrategies and concepts. Organization that embrace the diverse valuesof this generation and structure their policies to cub theMillennials needs, will earn themselves an ambitious and hardworkinggenre of employees. Giving the millennials opportunity for advancedtraining will benefit both the organization and the employees in thefuture as the employees joining the labor force now will be able tohandle complex business ideologies in future.


Lipkin,N. A., &amp Perrymore, A. J. (2009).&nbspYin the workplace: Managing the &quotme first&quot generation.Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press.

Sheahan,P. (2006).&nbspGenerationY: Surviving with Generation Y at Work.Prahran: Hardie Grant Books.

Tulgan,B., &amp Martin, C. A. (2001).&nbspManagingGeneration Y: Global citizens born in the late seventies and earlyeighties.Amherst, Mass: HRD Press.

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