A new generation of employees with new expectations is entering the workplace. Referred to by many names, Generation Y is also known as the Millennial. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Research points to the beginning birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Even though every individual is unique, individuals within a generation are inclined to develop a collective personality that influences lifestyle decisions (i.e. feelings toward authority, organization, participation, desires, etc.) (Kupperschmidt, 2000; Smola & Sutton 2002; Weston, 2006). Managers with awareness of the needs of this generation can avoid any misunderstandings (Smola & Sutton, 2002).
Generation Y, hold values, attitudes, and expectations that are significantly different from those of the generations of workers that preceded them (Eddy S.W., 2010). Generation Y has lived a highly structured and scheduled lives (Raines 2002; Weston, 2006). This generation is family-oriented, open-minded, extremely stressed, and expects short-term decisions to produce grandiose results (Leo, 2003; Raines, 2002). Technological advances have allowed this generation to consider the world a small, diverse, highly-networkable, accessible place (Patterson, 2007). Compared to earlier generations, this generation is significantly more focused on finding work that is meaningful that allows for meaningful contributions (Galpin et al. 2006).
In the workplace Generation Y value teamwork and fairness, and is likely to be more positive than Generation X on a range of workplace issues including work-life balance, performance reviews, and availability of supervisors (What You Need to Know, 2003). Furthermore, Generation Y workers are inclined to be sociable, hopeful, talented, collaborative, inclusive, and civic-minded. In addition to being well educated and technically savvy, they tend to be open-minded, achievement-oriented, and able to work on parallel tasks (Raines, 2002). Cautiously optimistic and enthusiastic about the future, Generation Y is likely to have a solid work ethic and entrepreneurial twist. At the same time, it tends to acknowledge and admire authority, especially Traditionalists. Strength, cooperation, energy, conformity, virtue, and duty tend to be among its values (Pekala, 2001). Furthermore, a recent Work and Education survey by the Gallup Organization suggests that Generation Y will not be harder to manage than workers from prior generations.
Therefore, placing members of this generation in cross-functional teams where they are constantly given diverse and new information about the organization, industry or the world in general is where this generation will be best utilized and most likely to stay engaged at work (Kovarik, 2008). Flexibility and voice, access to co-workers and company information through technology, and project-centered work are recommended (Allen, 2004). Expectations should be explained to Generation Y from the...