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The Rise of Generation Y


Younger workers (those born between 1980 and 1995) have different values to their older colleagues, according to a recent study by PwC. The results suggest that they would choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards.

The study, which compared responses among younger workers (so-called ‘Millennials’ or ‘Generation Y’) and their older counterparts, reveals that Millennials are more likely to stay in a job if they feel supported and appreciated, are part of a cohesive team and have greater flexibility over where and how much they work. This contrasts with the non-Millennial generation, who place greater importance on pay and development opportunities.

The results suggest that unlike past generations who were willing to work beyond a 40-hour work week in the hope of rising to a higher-paying position later on, Millennials are largely unwilling to give up a good work/life balance. However, younger workers report that they do not feel more entitled or less committed that their older counterparts, and are willing to work just as hard.

Indeed, other studies have shown that flexible working conditions are likely to have a positive effect on employees’ health and wellbeing [1], employee engagement [2], as well as on employee performance [3].

With 230,000 Millennials joining the UK workforce each year, it is vital that employers understand what motivates this generation [4]. Many organisations may have to re-think how they attract and reward younger workers – essentially how they build their cohort of future leaders – or risk losing the best talent to other companies who adapt better to meet their needs.

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