How can the millennial generation be managed effectively in the workplace?
By 2012, in only eight years, it is estimated that 46 percent of the workforce will be part of Generation Y. This fact has not escaped the notice of businesses and media worldwide -- who often promote certain stereotypes in this age group.
"Tech savvy", although perhaps not too clued up on security or privacy, raised on a steady diet of iThings and mobile technology, young adults born between the 1980's and 2001 seem to have a slightly different take on what they want from the workplace than their older counterparts.
We want flexible schedules, challenges, social freedom and work mobility. The idea of a commuting rat-race and 9-5 job in a cubicle with sallow lighting and the constant thrum of a photocopier buzzing in our ears may not be to anyone's taste -- no matter the age -- but even in a volatile career marketplace, the Generation Y are known for their job-hopping ways.
But how do you keep them, and preserve the money, energy and time required to train new members of staff?
It appears that social elements are increasingly important for young workers. 64 percent ask about social media policies in job interviews, and stepping away from the digital, 54 percent considered the opportunity to make friends "very important" when accepting an offer. For their own standing in society, 43 percent wanted a job that others respect and value.
1 in 3 stated they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility and work mobility over their paycheck. According to the research, feeling work is "meaningful" and therefore gaining a sense of accomplishment is more important than high pay.
The multi-tasking, mobile generation may not be entirely realistic in their future job prospects -- 70 percent of which saying they would switch jobs "once the economy improves". When this happens remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the generation that will one day run the country seems to need astute handling to stop them hopping to their next post in the hopes of a new challenge.