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Cultural Clash – Gen Y in the Workforce

August 12, 2010

Gen Y is a general term for anyone born after 1980. Wikipedia notes that they are most familiar “with communications, media, and digital technologies“. Every generation will seek to differentiate itself from the generation before them. Jack and Suzy Welch reports in Business Week, although there is a perception that Gen Y in workforce have an unfair sense of entitlement they have found from their own experience that they are “hardworking, entrepreneurial, startlingly authentic, refreshingly candid, and wonderfully upbeat“.

ABC News presents a different story stating “a survey of more than 300 Australian business owners has summed up Generation Y as demanding, impatient and bad at communicating” however the survey also found Gen Y’s have “energy, a creativity and a charisma, so if you can harness their personalities and their view of the world in the right way, they can be good employees“.

It is very difficult to classify an entire generation and any assertions of both negative and positive are stereotypes. In every group there will be the “good” and the “bad“. Most Gen Y’s will have grown up with different technologies (e.g. internet and mobile phones) which will change their outlook and the way they operate in the workplace. Especially with easy access to the internet, information is now on demand and that’s the way Gen Y’s work. If the current generation can mold their processes slightly and adapt accordingly there are hard workers of any generation (Gen Y included) who will prove to be assets to their businesses.

References :

Generation Y disappoints employers
By Liv Casben – Fri Jul 13, 2007
ABC News
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/13/1978431.htm

Generation Y’s Bad Rap
by Jack and Suzy Welch – September 27, 2007
Business Week
http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/sep2007/ca20070927_516544.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_managing

Wikipedia – Generation Y
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y

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