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Gen Y and Job Satisfaction

Veronica C. | February 10, 2011

At age 34 I would be placed at the upper end of the Gen Y age range.  I’ve witnessed the creation of the internet, the cell phone and the fall of the library.  Those light-up neon shoes from Back to the Future II are a reality and the Speak & Spell from my childhood has now become the iPad.  We’re a different generation from the ones before.  We’re looking for instant gratification and we expect to be happy in whatever we do.  That’s a bit different than my fathers and grandfathers generation where you’d work for the same company until you retired or died.

 I’ve been working for 11 years now post college and I have only ever left two companies for reasons of my own.  I left because of low job satisfaction and poor work environments. These two companies didn’t care about me, my career or the people around me. I was just a warm body filling a seat to them. Gen Yer’s like me are less motivated by money than previous generations.  We’re looking for a work environment where we can be happy doing our job and are given the opportunity to learn and grow.  The happier we are with our job the more likely we’ll stay with your company for the long haul.

What is Gen-Y is looking for in a job?

  • Flexibility-Alternative hours and job flexibility.
  • Benefits-Healhcare, 401k, vacation, sick time
  • Positive Atmosphere-Is it a positive, proactive office environment?
  • Comradery- Are people in the office just coworkers or are they friends?
  • Mentorship Programs-Gen Yer’s are looking for and need guidance.
  • Growth- Is there room to grow within the company?
  • Praise- Gen Y wants to be told they are doing a good job No one wants to hear just the negative.
  • A Cool Boss-They want to view their boss as a mentor and friend rather than an authority figure.

 For the employer, employee job satisfaction is an important indicator of how your employees feel about their jobs and is a great a predictor of work behaviors such as organizational citizenship, absenteeism, and turnover. Earlier this year, Roslyn Courtney, an award-winning expert on leadership, business change and talent management, published the results of her survey on leadership and careers in a business world that is changing.  One particular area of her survey focused on Gen Y’s older coworkers and how they viewed Gen Yer’s in the workplace.

Older generations are very skeptical about the contribution and values of Gen Y, the youngest entrants to the workplace. Only 23% say that Gen Y makes their business better, 17% say Gen Y workers share the values of senior leaders, 54% believe that Gen Y has unrealistic aspirations. Only 20% say that Gen Y puts the organization’s priorities ahead of their own.

How do you think working in that type of environment impacts a Gen Y employee?  The answer is negatively of course.  Do you think you have an office atmosphere that will attract and retain Gen Y job seekers?  Do your older employees share the same view as the ones mentioned in the study above?  Maybe it’s time to find out.

If you have never measured job satisfaction at your company there is no time better than the present.  There are several methods which you can use including the job descriptive index, the job in general index and the Likert scale.  You can learn more about these methods of measuring job satisfaction by following this link to Wikipedia.

If you think you’re ready for Gen-Y talent, follow the link below to’s latest B2B offering that can help you connect with that entry level engineer looking for a job in your town.

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Category: Employers

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