SINGAPORE: Meaningful work is most important to Generation Y (Gen Y) employees, according to global recruitment agency Kelly Services.
Gen Y refers to people born between 1981 and 2000 and is also known as "Generation We".
In its latest white paper, "They Want Everything... Yesterday", Kelly Services highlighted a key finding that mentoring from a manager helps a Gen Y employee set his or her career goals.
Once this is established, managers and employers will most likely find their Gen Y employees showing a greater sense of responsibility and applying an "all or nothing" attitude to the tasks they are entrusted with.
Kelly Services Asia Pacific’s senior vice president, Dhirendra Shantilal, said: "For Gen Y they need instant gratification. They need to be recognised on the spot."
So the agency suggests companies give out spot bonuses for those who perform well and have more regular appraisal reviews so Gen Y—ers know that their work is being seen.
Dhirendra also added: "Gen Y will get restless after two to three years and may want to move. Companies have to create different projects for them so that they are able to retain them within the company. Gen Y—ers are not looking to leave the company. They actually want to stay with the company as long as they are given different challenges within the same organisation."
In Kelly’s 2012 Global Workforce Index, many Gen Y respondents named corporate culture and strong market presence as desired employer attributes.
These eclipse all the other factors, including financial performance, longevity, reputation for innovation and corporate social responsibility.
When deciding on one position over another, Gen Y respondents in the Asia—Pacific region said personal fulfilment or worklife balance, as well as personal growth or advancement, are the two most important considerations.
Both are ranked ahead of compensation or benefits.
But with a multi—generational workforce which includes Baby Boomers and Generation X — those born between 1961 and 1980, could employers catering to Gen Y lead to resentment from others?
Pitney Bowes’ vice president for human resources, Alysson Do, said: "You are going to have various people on your team. And they are going to need various things. I can have a Gen Y or a baby boomer on my organisation; I think if you deliver to each of the individual on your team, then there isn’t this issue of — you are spending too much time with one generation."
The global poll covered 168,000 respondents including employees from the Asia Pacific, of which about 6,000 respondents were from Singapore. Of these from Singapore, 2,500 belonged to the Gen Y group.
Seventy—one per cent of respondents in Singapore placed personal growth and fulfilment as more important than compensation and benefits when choosing jobs.
Fifty—one per cent believed it was important to change jobs for career growth and skill development.
Based on these findings, the recruitment agency suggested that managers and employers take a more rounded approach with a clear development path in the employment packages for their Gen Y staff.
And Gen Y—ers said companies need to continually engage them to retain them.
Twenty—eight—year—old volunteer mediator Ivy Lee said: "One of the things Gen Y—ers do not like is to be stagnant. We do not want to keep doing the same... thing over and over again. They like to be challenged and also to see growth."
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