Generation Y, alternatively known as the millennial or the internet generation, refers to the generation of people who were born between the 1980s and the early 1990s. The name is derived from Generation X, the generation just prior to it.

Individuals belonging to Generation Y are frequently called “echo boomers” since they happen to be the children of parents who were born at the time of the baby boom (who are known as the “baby boomers”). Generation Y children have had continuous access to technology in their youth in the form of cell phones, computers, and the like. As a result, a number of employers were required to update their hiring techniques to remain in sync with the technological advancement.

Traits of Generation Y

Following are certain common characteristics that define Generation Y:

  • Tech-Savvy: The growth of the Generation Y took place amidst technology and these individuals rely on it in order to perform their jobs more efficiently. Commonly seen hooked to their cellphones, laptops, BlackBerrys and other gadgets, this generation is plugged-in 24*7. Generation Y loves to communicate through text messaging and e-mail instead of face-to-face contact. Moreover, instead of conventional lecture-based presentations, this generation would prefer to go for webinars and other online technology.
  • Family-Centric: Generation Y is not much interested in being fast-track. Rather these individuals are ready to trade high pay for smaller number of billable hours, better work-life balance and flexible schedules. The older generations might call this kind of attitude as self-centric, narcissistic or devoid of commitment, drive and discipline, but Generation Y holds a different notion regarding workplace expectations and gives more priority to family than work.
  • Achievement-Oriented: Pampered and nurtured by parents who tried their level best to avoid repeating the mistakes made by the previous generation, Generation Y is achievement-oriented, ambitious and confident. They do hold high expectations of their employers, are ready to face newer challenges and possess the requisite courage to question authority. In other words, those belonging to Generation Y look forward to a solid learning curve and meaningful work.
  • Team-Oriented: When they were children, Generation Y individuals participated in play groups, team sports and other group activities. They hold teamwork in high esteem and strive to obtain input and affirmation from others. Belonging to a type of ‘no-person-left-behind’ generation, Generation Y is committed, loyal, and seeks to be involved and included.
  • Attention-Craving: Generation Y wants attention in the forms of guidance and feedback. They appreciate when they are considered as a part of the loop and look for recurrent reassurance and praise. Generation Y may derive a lot of benefit from mentors who are capable of providing the requisite guidance and developing their young careers.

Generation Y and the Business World

Generation Y is currently quite established in the workplace and a strength to be relied upon. Here are some statistics about this generation:

  • 92 percent hold the opinion that profit is not the only measure of business success;
  • 50 percent wish to start off their venture, or have already began;
  • The average tenure during which this generation is continually employed is 2 years.