What Drives Gen Y?

What Drives Gen Y?


Adopting new-age working practices that suit the gen y workforce is the only way to thrive.

Today, every aspect of working is undergoing a major transformation, thanks to the ethos of Gen Y professionals who have redefined the way we look at careers. While most organisations agree that the time has come to transform HR practices, very few agree on what needs to be changed and how. The first thing we need to change is our mindset organisations that continue to see the adoption of new-age working practices as an employee benefit would not be able to transform HR into a future-ready function. Only those organisations that realise that adopting new-age working practices is the only way to thrive will emerge as winners.

Change agents who want to transform organisations are often clueless about what needs to be considered while we plan and design the changes. Here is a quick guide that gives you the potential cornerstones for a new-age work practice design that will suit the Gen Y and the millennials:

The new-age employees have plenty of options. Their dreams are boundless and they have no intention of giving them up. A leader should understand that an employee aspires much more than his/her predecessor.

It is wise to acknowledge that and encourage the dream. The organisation succeeds when its employees succeed. The culture and processes we design should align the aspiration of the employee with the strategic goals of the organisation.Unless we do that, the employee will find other greener pastures. People who complain about a lack of loyalty among the Gen Y and millennials are those who have failed to do this.

Today’s employees cannot be taken for granted. Like customers, they have to be acquired and retained.

This generation is independent and innovative. The booming number of startups is a strong proof for the same. What is it about entrepreneurship that inspires these people? Mostly, it is the ownership, accountability, the opportunity to take risks and the thrills of fast growth. If our new-age work practices can take these into account, will we not be able to retain a top performer? Many organisations have embraced this, thus creating smaller business units, which are autonomous and headed by youngsters. We should remember to create this agility.

Currently, the market is such that a skilled person can and will earn to fulfil his physiological needs. This means in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, an employee is seeking to meet his higher needs.The differentiator for organisations would be the way we enable the employee to meet these higher needs.

Simply put, today they don’t work for money; they work because they are passionate about it. This aspect needs to permeate all aspects of HR practices. For instance, while recruiting, one has to evaluate both the skill and passion level.

If there is a skill mismatch, you can train and bridge the gap; but if there is a passion mismatch, there is nothing you can do to stop the employee from leaving you.

Flexibility is often the most misunderstood term in this context. It clearly doesn’t mean just flexible work timings. It is devolving the authority to allow the employee to decide the working style himself. A Gen Y employee wants to have a say in deciding: What to work on? Which domain to work in?

How to work?

When to work?

Futuristic work practices hence should be flexible enough for the employee to explore and shift.

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