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Apr 04

Emerging Human Resource Issues: Retaining Generation Y Employees

By 2025, individuals born between 1977 and 1995, referred to as “Generation Y” or the “Millennials” will occupy a whopping 75 percent of the United States’ workforce, acting as a catalyst in changing current corporate mentality. Generation Y individuals have earned a unique reputation based on the ever-changing society in which they grew up in. Needless to say, human resource managers will need to rise to the great expectations of this generation in order to stay viable.

The majority of Generation Y’ers can remember both the inception and popularization of today’s popular technology. Collectively affected by various environmental factors, including technological advancements, Generation X’ers inclusive parenting styles, the economic prosperity of the 1990’s, and a post 9/11 political arena, Generation Y has a unique set of career-related expectations.

After obtaining advanced degrees and accumulating an average of $27,000 in student loan debt (Girod & Shapiro, 1), Generation Y’ers expect the same instant gratification from their careers that beloved technology has provided them with, which translates into an expected higher-level position upon graduation with a correlating salary.

Secondly, Generation Y’ers seek challenging and satisfying positions. After all, Generation Y grew up with latest parental mantra that anything could be accomplished if you put your mind to it. This attitude coupled with perpetual positive reinforcement has led to the “trophy kids” label, leaving Generation Y’s demanding a more challenging workload with more frequent recognition.

Thirdly, Generation Y’ers expect a certain corporate culture as a result of the latest academic buzzwords, such as “teamwork” and “diversity.” A plethora of team projects, globalization, and college seminars on diversity leaves Generation Y’ers expecting the same tranquil, egalitarian atmosphere in corporations.

While still recovering from such a debilitating economic downturn, Generation Y’ers remain doubtful about future improvements. The good news? Just as corporations were forced to adjust their mentality to match the needs and wants of the Baby Boomers, the same will have to be done for Generation Y.