There is no consensus over the exact definition of Gen Y’s, but the generally accepted range is from 1980 to 1999. So pretty much anyone who is 12 to 30 years old today is considered a Gen Y. On reflecting on Finkel’s presentation I was struck by a major challenge companies will need to address that perhaps they are not even aware of.
Why am I doing this?
Why does it have to be this way?
Why can’t I cite Wikipedia?
It is the first two questions that will have a significant impact on the way organisations not only communicate strategy but how they develop it.
Finkel explained that Gen Ys want to do rewarding and stimulating work and they want to do it from day one. They need and want a higher purpose. Yes they understand the need for profit but it has to be a purpose behind the profit, not profit for profit’s sake. This strong desire in the whole new generation entering the workforce will see the dawn of a new age of organisations. You will still have you Not For Profits (NFP) but organisations will need to become Purpose For Profits (PFP).
If companies don’t have a purpose, apart from greater profits and returning wealth to its shareholders and if they cannot communicate that purpose, then they will have a whole generation of their current and future workforce not wanting to work for them.
Companies without a well articulated purpose will have very little hope of attracting and retaining talented Gen Ys.
And if you think having a workforce devoid of Generation Ys is not a problem, think again. Because Gen Ys have the perfect attributes for innovation …but that is a whole new post. Watch this space.