Generation Y – seeking innovation, authenticity, stability and security? Hun?

I was drinking my coffee as I made my three kids their lunch this morning in an effort to get them out the door on time so I could walk them to school. In previous posts I’ve mentioned that they are just getting started in their education and far FAR away from entering the workforce. I was watching Canada AM in the background on my Media Centre system in the kitchen and I happened to catch the term “Generation Y” – so I refocused my attention span to watch and listen in.

Side Note - I wasn’t really thinking about Generation-Y, HR Recruiting or how to attract and retain talent into your organization. That was the topic of a talk show Q&A webcast I hosted for the Ignite Your Career series last Tuesday (Resource page is online – download the audio portion of the show from there) but it still must have been somewhere in my subconscious – but I digress…

I was expecting to hear some of the pessimistic views on Gen-Y: spoiled, self absorbed, lazy, raised by over indulgent protective parents and possibly “ship jumpers” that will take what they can get and then move on to the next position/employer.  I don’t particularly subscribe to those views – I work with Gen-Y individuals and talk to them at colleges and universities. I see them as a group of driven individuals that border on overachievers.  I don’t know if you can categorize groups of individuals with these traits – I’ll leave that open for debate.

Eric Meerkamper was being interviewed about the findings of a recent survey his company DECODE published called “From Learning to Work 2008”. 27000 students were surveyed as part of this research and surprisingly enough – my pre-conceived notions of Gen-Y were challenged. “The brands that were chosen are considered to be authentic and innovate; part of some new and important values emerging in the workplace. All of these organizations are places that resonate as being stable and secure,” says Meerkamper.

The part that caught my ear the most was that Gen-Ys that responded to the survey actually are seeking STABILITY, authenticity and security in their employers. This can be tough, since there really isn’t a job for life anymore. After doing a bit of digging around, I found this quick article posted on Workopolis that included a link for the top 50 employers…

  1. Government of Canada
  2. Health Canada
  3. Google
  4. Provincial Government
  5. Apple
  6. Microsoft
  7. Air Canada
  8. CBC
  9. Westjet
  10. Research In Motion (RIM)

My surprise was government being ranked so high – I don’t really view them as being innovative. 🙂

What do you think? What is your organization doing to prepare for the upcoming wave of new employees? Are you planning on controlling and prohibiting the connected nature of the uber connected individuals that make up Gen-Y while they are at work? Are you updating your policies or simply “translating” them so that they are relevant and in a language that everyone can understand?  Pop your thoughts into the comments stream!

If these type of questions are becoming top of mind for you – maybe you should check out the next episode of Ignite Your Career where they will be discussed.

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Comments (1)

  1. Farhan Thawar says:

    Interesting…. FYI, we`re doing an executive Roundtable on just this topic next week

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