Gen. Y: Employment At Will Now A Two-Sided Proposition
Generation Y is made up of those born during the Reagan White House years, about 18 to 26 years old. There are currently 80 million Gen Y employees in the workforce, and here are some things they have in common. They are very well educated, technologically savvy and well-skilled in multitasking. They are used to solving problems and want to understand the reasoning behind a decision. They are not known for their patience. They understand that they can be fired at any time and for any reason, and they also recognize they can up and leave at any time and for any reason.
It is easy to poke fun at Generation Y, but the truth is that they are Oregon's future. We can all be thankful that they are entrepreneurial, independent-minded and free thinkers. Employers who ignore Gen Y'ers value will most likely lose them. They will not stand for an organization that asks them to meekly wait in line for years before "earning" the right to contribute. We can either adapt our managerial styles to meet their needs, or we can live in the past and watch the world pass us by.
This article appeared in the October 26, 2007 issue of The Portland Business Journal.