The work priorities of Generation ‘Y’

generation yThe priorities of the younger workforce have changed over the past few years, leaving many employers unsure and confused about what their career priorities are, and how to communicate with this group of potential employees. So, how can we make sense of this younger generation, and how are their priorities differing from previous generations? Well, the best way to get a better insight is to look carefully at what their top workplace priorities are.

Money talks!


Young professionals, like most other employees, prioritise pay as the most important component in accepting a job offer. Salary is still the main basic driver for this group of young professionals, as defined by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, but there are also many other motivating factors which these individuals now consider important. 

Focus on career


Opportunities for career advancement are more important to today’s generation ‘Y’ employees, or millenials, than any other generation. A high percentage of them consider good opportunities for growth and development as one of their top professional priorities – this group are hungry and want to advance. With the career advancement that they desire comes training and development. So, as an employer, it is important offer appropriate training to your generation ‘Y’ employees, and help them understand the advancement opportunities in your company, so they know there’s a future for them there. 

Friendships and recognition


There is also a strong desire among today’s young professionals for feedback and recognition. They value constructive feedback more than any other generation, and so, as an employer, it’s important you stay engaged with their work progress, and offer regular updates and guidance. These generation ‘Y’ employees crave positive relationships in the workplace more than any other employees, considering it very important to have friends at work, and to work for a personable boss who will mentor them. 

Social media and technology


cloud communications
This technology-savvy workforce of millenials are, unsurprisingly, placing more importance on their workplace flexibility when it comes to their choice of computing devices, work hours, and access to social media networks during the workday. Generation ‘Y’ employees are motivated by the ways in which employers communicate, which means that this needs to be considered when you’re looking to recruit and retain staff. It will be important for this group of young professionals to be aware of the company’s policy on social media sites during work time. They will also want to know what technology is provided with the job, and whether it is acceptable to use the devices for personal use as well as work. After all, this is a generation that have grown up communicating via Facebook and Twitter! 

Company flexibility


Generation ‘Y’ employees consider flexible working as more important than any other generation of employees. In fact, one study discovered that millennials are prepared to sacrifice pay for increased holiday days, and the ability to work outside the office. So they will be keen to know whether you, as an employer, are flexible in terms of work mobility.

It is clear to see that times are changing, and so too are the priorities of our next generation of young professionals. But, as a new cohort of employees, these young professionals are creative and innovative – so why not tap into this skill source? They offer many advantages, and will bring fresh approaches to long-standing working methods. As an employer you can make effective use of these skills, to enable your company to stay one step ahead of the changes in your industry sector as well as your competitors. By managing these individuals effectively, there can be mutual benefits for all.

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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