“I want it all”: Understanding Gen Y

by HCA08 Jul 2013

Young Australians want organisations to value and understand their career and personal goals, and allow personalised options to suit their needs, a recent study from CPA Australia demonstrated.

Unsurprisingly, work-life balance is a key motivator for young workers. The study also found many were competitive but craved mentoring to help eliminate lingering self-doubt.

If organisations wish to up-skill and retain younger workers, they need to be more accommodating. CPA suggests organisations offer planning and pathways to progression for employees, and opportunities to differentiate themselves from their peers.

Helping young employees to enhance both technical and “soft” skills is important, as is providing adequate guidance.

“It’s as much about their journey as their destination,” Rob Thomason, executive general manager, business development of CPA Australia, said.

Despite differences in goals and priorities, young Australians were found to place the same onus on what it takes to stand out from the crowd: hard work, experience, fresh ideas and the ability to inspire those around them.

Assisting and training young employees might seem an impossible task to some managers, but the reality is Gen Y welcomes it.  “Employees want more guidance and organisations stand to reap ongoing benefits by assisting staff to formalise their training. Teams that train together, work better together,” Thomason said.


Key HR Take-aways

While it might sometimes seem Gen Y are speaking another language, they just have different needs/priorities. CPA outlined some of the key areas that Gen Y are most invested in when analysing a position:

  • Work-life balance: Family and health are priorities.
  • Financial security: Comfortable and consistent pay to maintain a successful life.
  • Recognition of the whole person: Support from workplace in reaching career and personal goals.
  • Inspiration: New thinking and development of new skills.
  • Choices: They need the organisation to consider them as a time-poor individual with various roles and responsibilities.


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