In an increasingly socially connected world, Generation Y – people born between the 1980’s and the year 2000 – are the generation who have managed to capture marketing’s utmost attention. And who can blame them when more that 50% of the population fall into this category of audience They use technology to learn, collaborate, take decisions and follow their dreams. They are considered to be very particular about what they want, easily distracted, and more demanding of brands than any other generation. Gen Ys are the generation who are considered to be the most proficient in the key skills businesses require in today’s era to remain focused and constantly innovative.
Today, companies are having a tough time connecting with this generation because a number of traditional advertising tools have proven ineffective at capturing Gen Ys’ attention. It’s imperative for companies to understand that this generation are continuous learners, collaborators, achievement-oriented and are well connected socially. As a result, they are looking for more than a pay cheque from their employers. Companies must change their traditional work environment, while in parallel strengthen work cultures. This approach is indeed required to attract Gen Ys, along with retaining the remainder of your employees. There is need for trust and convergence between the old-fashioned and the contemporary.
Technology has ended the nine to five workday concept, crushed global communication barriers and created transparent offices. Gen Ys have forced companies to think beyond meetings and cubicles. They also believe that businesses should focus more on a social purpose instead of just focusing on how to make higher profits. That’s one of the reasons you see many Gen Ys become social entrepreneurs – they feel strongly about wanting to touch lives and make an impact, regardless of their job title.
Many futuristic companies have already embarked upon a journey to implement initiatives to attract Gen Ys, while addressing the needs of the baby boomers. Giving ownership, autonomy and opportunities to influence positive change within the company are positive cultural shifts businesses can make, without having to reinvent the wheel. Many employers also believe that Gen Ys are making great contributions at their workplace including technological skills, market intelligence, entrepreneurial spirit and an attitude to make a difference. As a result, more and more companies are at the verge of changing their respective policies to appeal to Gen Y.
Another aspect of Gen Y, which is of utmost importance is Social Networks. Social platforms are an extraordinarily important part of this digital tribe’s’ lives as they have become much more than a way to connect about personal matters – social practices underpin every facet of this generation’s life. Therefore, it is imperative for companies to use these tools in their respective businesses. Whether it is to showcase their appreciation of employees, for social recruitment purposes, make business announcements, post thought leadership articles or for visual story-telling, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram can be hugely valuable channels to engage in, in the eyes of your Gen Ys.
To sum it up, organisations that provide a good work-life balance, offer innovative solutions/products, have flexible working hours and have the intent to bring about a social change, are more likely to be opted by Gen Ys as their employer of choice. Generation Ys are expected to remain the dominant generation for decades to come, it is important for modern companies to buckle up and push the social media pedal as this demographic has the ability to assist, and even propel their respective businesses along on their transformation journeys.
The author is Mr. Nitin Singhal, India Business Head, Oracle CX Applications at Oracle India Pvt. Ltd