Embrace Gen Y tech skills to retain them: CEOs told

Apr 20 2012, 16:21 IST
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SummaryGeneration Y will take up leadership roles of the future but present company heads fret that they won’t stick around long enough to get there, researchers say.

Generation Y will take up leadership roles of the future but present company heads fret that they won’t stick around long enough to get there, researchers say.

How to hold onto Generation Y - starting to head into their 30s and still typically branded as lazy and unrealistic - is the number one issue keeping Australian CEOs awake at night, News.co.au reported.

Despite a comparatively high youth unemployment rate, retaining Gen Y came ahead of achieving growth, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and managing competition in a recent survey of leadership worries from the CEO Institute.

The Institute’s head Barry Westhorpe insisted that appealing to Gen Y’s sense of technology, giving them realistic and practical information as well as instant gratification could also help managers retain these young workers.

Younger workers brought fresh perspectives to organisations and embracing their values was essential to keep them, Westhorpe said.

“Truth and sincerity is very important to Gen Y and they don’t like hype or cliches,” he said.

Other values which Gen Y relate to include optimism, social responsibility, education, diversity, work-life balance, fun in the workplace and thinking globally.

Management consultant and coach Avril Henry, who has done extensive research into Gen Y in organisations, asserted they were a lot more prepared to leave than Baby Boomers who would stand a job for years.

“What Gen Y has decided is that they will not work the crazy long hours that they’ve seen their parents and Baby Boomers working – which leads to poor a work-life balance, and can impact their relationships outside work,” Henry said.

“We still think that Gen Y have to do the boring mundane tasks because they are young. If you give Gen Y boring work they will leave because they want to be challenged and do interesting work. They also want good leadership and management,” she added.

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