Do you want insights on how to better engage?

Juanessa Abbott
Written by


Who is Gen Y?

Who are the Generation Y you may ask? According to a 2010 report, Generation Y workers make up roughly 25% of the world population. The fast increase in population numbers world-wide in the past 50 years has led to an enormous increase in the amount of people who fall into the category of Generation Y, and so it is one of the largest generational categories in the world. In contrast, the world population is approximately 21% Generation X, and 18% Baby Boomers.

Generation Y epitomise the term ‘digital natives’, they have grown up in a world where they are surrounded by technology, technology that has developed at a faster rate than ever before. Subsequently, every move they make is punctuated by technology and gadgets are as much a part of their life as food and toilet paper, but this can help as well as hinder the generation.

A worldwide survey discovered that 90% of Gen Y check their emails, texts and social media accounts using their smartphones before they even get out of bed. The same survey also found that, globally, one in five Gen Yers will check their smartphone at least once every ten minutes.

Why you should care about Gen Y?

As the job market continues to evolve, studies show that millennials are demanding more from their employers and if they feel they aren’t heard, they quickly move on to the next thing.

This is important because Gen Y is quickly becoming the majority of today’s workforce (your team). In fact, Gen Y comprises almost 40% of today’s workforce and by 2025 it’s estimated that will grow to 75%.

According to a study from the Millennial Branding, 45% of companies surveyed experienced a high turnover with Gen Y. To put this in context, Gen X  (the previous group) change jobs an average of 11 times throughout their career, whereas Gen Y will change jobs as much as 20 times.

Losing employees is expensive.

The same study referenced above suggests that 10% of the millennials went directly to a competitor. Losing an employees after a year has financial implications from wasting time and resources on training & development, but it goes beyond this, such as:

  • lost productivity

  • remaining staff often becomes overworked

  • lost knowledge

  • relationships suffer (particularly if client facing)

Why is Gen Y leaving.

Most of the world’s economic instability has been erased, and taking a new job is easier. Gen Y most recently experienced economic uncertainty and job hopping has become more strategic. Moving jobs means that employees often move up the corporate ladder faster and find an environment that is more conducive to their personal goals.  I came across an article in Forbes which lists out what millennials find motivating at work (which are likely reasons why they decide to move to the next thing):

  • 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.

  • 72% would like to be their own boss.

  • 79% of them  want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor (if they had to have a boss).

  • 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one

  • 74% want flexible work schedules.

  • 88% want “work-life integration”

If you want to make a difference, consider the following:

millennials are focused on making work meaningful, not just making money at work. Here are a few things you can do to better engage your fellow millennials.

  • Clearly communicate your company’s culture, that means defining your core values and establishing a strong company culture

  • Communicate with your employees, help set expectations, listen to what matters to them and establish a career plan. This helps them grow professionally and may entice them them to stick around longer.

  • Recognize their achievements. Instead of waiting for quarterly reviews to celebrate achievements and go over areas of improvement, provide mentorship sessions on a more frequent cadence. Being able to see progress is perhaps one of the easiest ways to engage someone.

  • Offer workplace flexibility. Technology has changed the way the world interacts and is ingrained in the millennials psyche. The 9-to-5 at the office is beginning to lose it’s importance. It’s a lot easier to remain connected to the office without physically being there and allowing employees the chance to adjust their schedules when the situation calls for it gives millennials another reason to want to stay on your team.

Finally, keep an open mind with your millennial colleagues. Taking a moment to see things from their perspective can dramatically improve productivity and workplace engagement.

Want to be our next success story? Let's talk.