The skills of Gen Y

It seems that Gen Y is not all bad, their technical skills save them, other than that we need to write the off as a wasted generation. What! Well that’s what 315 business leaders across Australia would like us to think based on the results of a survey conducted by SmartCompany in conjunction with Roy Morgan Research and Dun & Bradstreet.

The Australian IT has an interesting summary with quotes like:-

They were also more likely to demand better office amenities, time off to study, and more training opportunities and mentoring.

Some 48 per cent of the SME owners were disappointed by Gen-Y communications skills, and 37 per cent complained of a lack of acceptable professional skills.

The SmartCompany article has some very damming quotes:-

Poor spelling and grammar and a failure to understand what constitutes appropriate corporate behaviour are the biggest bugbears, with almost 70% of surveyed employers reporting dissatisfaction with their Gen-Y employees’ performance in those areas.


Once they’re on staff, Nagle says it is important to constantly communicate with, train and “indulge” Gen-Y staff to build relationships and get them enthused about being at work.

These people need constant work, why bother! 😉

Well it is not all that bad:-

However, Gen-Y have a key strength in tech skills, the poll finds. While 94 per cent of employers considered Gen-Y employees demanding in seeking the latest hi-tech gear, 85 per cent were happy with their younger workers’ technology skills.

Gen-Y was more focused on the community and the environment than earlier generations.

Some tips from SmartCompany on getting the best from your Gen Y’s

1. Retention starts with recruitment.

2. Be flexible.

3. Provide the ‘why’.

4. Provide regular and constructive feedback.

5. Set clear career paths and determine goals.

6. Coaching and mentoring appeals to this demographic.

7. Salary, salary, salary.

8. Develop an organisational culture that is inclusive of everyone.

9. Watch your words.

10. Practice what you preach.

Are you up to the challenge? If so Management Issues has some further tips here, and here.

11 thoughts on “The skills of Gen Y

  1. Some tips from SmartCompany on getting the best from your Gen Y’s

    This list applies to most employees, not just Gen Y.

    Frankly, I think the Gen Y thing is a crock of you know what.

  2. Kevin you angry old man 🙂

    Actually the list would apply to most employees, however the way that you implement the list would have to differ slightly.

  3. The list does apply to most employees. However, Gen Y do not hold back in openly expressing that this is what they want. I think it is about time the employers and managers took notice.

  4. As a Gen Yer myself I feel that these results are simply a reflection of the world we live in.
    We’ve grown up with a more relaxed teaching environment where teachers are our friends and not our masters and I think we’re carrying this over to the working world.

  5. Kevin you angry old man 🙂

    Outraged of Melbourne here 🙂

    I just think there is far too much generalisation about Gen Y.

    The openness and directness of Gen Y is something very new for many manager.

    If everyone born between 1977 and 1992 are open and direct that’s a good thing! As an employer I would much rather know what my employees are feeling and what they are looking for.

    But realistically, to say everyone born in a 15 year window has certain behavioural traits and expectations is nonsense. IMHO

  6. Putting aside the massive generalisations….

    I suppose by poor professional conduct they are referring to actually being a human being when working for a company.

    Business managers who cling to these survey results as support for their inability to engage the younger generation are completely out of touch with the new business paradigm: being real.

    If the company line is crap, don’t blame Gen-Y for not towing it. You won’t have to worry about this if you work for a business which is actually creating value and treating its customers with respect.

  7. Now that’s arrogant. And I presume the last few posts are Gen Y. Tsk! The spelling. And Tsk! The expectations that you are Soooooooo Special.

    Get over yourselves. If you don’t want the money, ask mommee and daddeee for your allowance.


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