While the members of Generation Z (anyone born after 1993) are beginning to show up on the radar screens of businesses around the world, Generation Y (people born in the '80s and '90s) is now firmly established in the workplace and a force to be reckoned with.
In her book, Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now, marketing and media expert Sarah Sladek explains, "This tech-savvy, globally minded generation isn't joining, buying, networking, learning, or engaging like other generations."
Gen Y really is different. Here are some stats that help explain what makes the members of Generation Y tick:
- 92 percent believe that business success should be measured by more than profit
- 80 percent prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews
- 61 percent feel personally responsible to make a difference in the world
- 50 percent want to start their own business, or have already done so
- 2 years is their average employment tenure
According to Sarah Sladek, members of Generation Y...
1. Hate to be sold anything (How will this affect the way you sell your products and services to the members of Gen Y?)
2. Have always been rewarded for participation and not achievement (How can you inspire and motivate your Gen Y employees?)
3. Don't seek to acquire stuff (How can you pitch your products in a way that neutralizes this trait?)
4. Can self-organize friends for grassroots activism (How can you leverage this skill within your Generation Y employees to promote teamwork?)
5. Trust peers first and parents second (How can you build trust with the Gen Y members of your team?)
6. Actively research prices and read reviews before making a purchase (How will you ensure your product or service is the one that Gen Y customers decide to buy?)
7. Are driven by a desire to make a difference (How can you recruit and retain the best Generation Y employees?)
8. Expect exceptional service (How can your business deliver service that is consistently above and beyond your competitors?)
9. Seek to do business with ethical, trustworthy organizations (When it comes to being ethical and trustworthy, do you walk your talk?)
10. Value customization (In what ways do you enable customers to tailor your products and services to their unique desires and needs?)
11. Remain detached from institutions, but closely networked with friends (How effectively do you use social media to build and promote your brand and your products and services?)