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It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gen Y reshaping the employment game

An interesting article by CNN writer, Anthony Balderrama, which shares some insights into how Gen Y is affecting employment practices caught my eye today, particularly in light of my post earlier this week on multi-generational workspaces.

A significant number of employers are looking at ways to attract and retain the always-on-the-move Gen Yers demanding higher salaries, work/life balance, job flexibility and top tier technology. The overall technological savvy of this generation is too compelling for employers to ignore. According to a recent Careerbuilder survey:

Fifteen percent of employers reported modifying their policies in order to
appease their Gen Y employees. Of those employers who made changes, 57 percent
implemented more flexible work schedules and 33 percent created new recognition

From what I can see, we are still a good five years away from employers realizing that they have a lot of transient talent, but little longevity, and even less in dependability, general management or supervisory skill sets. I'm looking for a hint of another 15% of employers who decide to aggressively and proactively target 50 plussers specifically for those experience-heavy requirements.


Scot Herrick said...

If employers are making these sorts of adjustments for Gen Y, the changes should be good for all workers. Flexible hours, for example, are good for everyone.

Given the globalization of a lot of knowledge work, I'm surprised (large) employers are making any changes at all.

Making adjustments to current workers would be a good thing.

Paula said...

Scott, I think you don't realize the point of these changes though. Although the 50+ group may benefit, they have no voice. The corporations are only focused on what Gen Y wants, therefore eliminating programs or perks that were important to the older employee make no difference. They don't see the value in keeping their long time employees happy, just want to attract Gen Y talent. They are short sighted in not realizing that although the younger people are very talented, they have no vision of how the whole business works. They can only relate to their very narrow part in the business and thus make decisions based on that view which are more costly to the bottom line. Their focus is on making the best decision for their small part, instead of the overall business.
So let's say that as an employee, that's had many years with the company, you see a more effective and cost saving way of creating a product or following a process, that benefits the company. In talking to upper management(who's typically been promoted over you due to their specialize education), they can't grasp your ideas because they don't understand the overall business. Because little value is attached to the 50+ employee, no one hears you.
That's been my experience with corporations focusing on Gen Y.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy!

Happy New Year! I hope 2008 brings you and your readers tremendous new opportunities and rewards!

This is a great post! Conversations about the intergenerational workforce are important. Personally, I take the view that intergenerational learning and cooperation will be the secret to success in the new world of work.

For many 50 plussers, it may seem counterintuitive (or maybe just pain wrong), but I think that Gen Y offers folks over 50 an opportunity to learn new ways to work. For starters, I think we can and should augment our experience and judgment with compelling technological savvy. As well, we can also demand “higher salaries, work/life balance, job flexibility and top tier technology.” After all, do we really want to work in the stale, stifling, conformity-driven bureaucracies that were so much a part of our early careers?

So, my advice: get a LinkedIn account and start networking on line. Then, when you’re comfortable with that, pull out all the stops and sign up for a Facebook account!

MeritainWellness said...

To your point, "A significant number of employers are looking at ways to attract and retain the always-on-the-move Gen Yers demanding higher salaries, work/life balance, job flexibility and top tier technology." One thing employers shouldn't ignore are incentives-based workplace wellness programs, which are gaining alot of buzz lately. Not only do Gen Y want to keep their healthcare costs down, but they may also want ways to get healthy and to lead healthier lives. Since one of the best ways to lower healthcare costs is by keeping employees healthy, Meritain Health developed incentive ideas that will encourage lifestyle changes amongst Gen Y staff: http://meritain.com/Home/Resources/MeritainPodcasts http://meritain.com/Home/Resources/WhitePapers.