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Can’t we all just get along? Understanding the Gen Y’ers

May 21, 2010

People in the Millennial generation, also called Generation Y, are the youngest generation entering the work force. How much do you know about working with them, motivating them and grooming the CEO’s of the future? Take our quiz and find out!

1) Millennials are born between:

a. 1964-1976

b. 1983-2001

c. 1943-1960

d. after 2001

Answer: b. The oldest of the millennium generation are leaving college and entering the workforce now. The exact dates vary; the broadest definition of Generation Y includes 70 million Americans born between 1977 and 2002.

2) The Millennial generation is also known as:

a. echo boomers

b. the pepsi generation

c. those damn kids

d. the sandwich generation

Answer: a. This generation is sometime referred to as the echo boomers because many of them are children of baby boomers. Another name for this age group is “generation next.”

3 ) Helicopter parenting refers to:

a. parents who are overprotective

b. parents in the military

c. parents who are afraid of flying

Answer: a. The term “helicopter parents” refers to parents who hover. This generation was raised on endless activities and nurturing. On the positive side, this is a highly motivated group of employees. The negative aspect is that they can be seen as high maintenance. In some extreme cases of the phenomenon, parents have written their children’s college admission essays and even negotiated their child’s salary.

4) What factor has most contributed to the financial acumen of Gen Y?

a. housing bubble

b. oil bubble

c. dot com bubble

Answer: c. This group of employees watched their parents lose their jobs and their saving when the dot com boom went bust. This had a profound impact on their attitudes toward job security, money and savings.

5) Among those eligible for company sponsored retirement plans, what percentage of Millennials are currently saving for retirement?

a. 25%

b. 70%

c. 18%

Answer: b. Unlike many of their predecessors, Millennials are big savers. The national average is 63% of eligible employees participating in the company’s plan.

6) what is the best way to motivate Generation Y workers?

a. Challenge

b. Feedback

c. Clearly defined instructions

Answer: b. Of course motivation varies by individual, but making a broad generalization, Gen Y needs lots of immediate feedback. Gen Y needs feedback, much more so than other generations, especially Boomers. Generation Xers are more likely to be motivated by challenge. They frequently need new challenges to stay motivated to do their best work.

7) True or False: Millennial generation employees are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

False.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees age 40 and older against employment discrimination.  While the law does not specifically protect younger workers, be sure to treat all employees equally and fairly regardless of age.

8) Millennials are associated with:

a. radio

b. computers

c. internet

d. slacking

e. TV

Answer: c.  Millennials are often called the Internet generation. Generation X, who came before them, were influenced by the prevalence of personal computers. Boomers are most often associated with TV, which came of age as they were growing up.

9) Which of the following is generally true about Generation Y workers?

a. They are goal oriented

b. They have high expectation for professional development

c. They have high expectations of themselves

d. All of the above

Answer: d. Gen Y workers want to make an impact on their workplace starting on their first day. They expect to be bette, smarter and faster than other workers. They expect their managers provide opportunities for growth. They also expect their managers to set goals and deadlines in a way that allows them to own tasks and projects.

10) True or False: Millennial generation workers are afraid of change.

This statement is FALSE. Millennials change their careers and companies easily. They begin a job with the expectation of changing their work environments. As a generation of multi-taskers, Millennials need constant change in assignment, and they expect to get it.

While its dangerous to make generalizations based solely on an employee’s age, it can be helpful to understand a generational mindset. This is a unique period in the working world- we have four generations of employees working side by side. The better we understand each other the better we can work together.


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