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Getting to know Y

2010 PricewaterhouseCoopers
Generation Y Survey

Gen Y are clearly a fast growing segment of Kenya’s workforce. In the labour market. these are employees who just turned thirty or are in their 20s. Gen Y are not just the next generation of employees. Gen Y is the group who were born around the time of the coup. but the next generation of consumers who will ultimately determine whether future businesses will succeed or fail . Gen Y are not just the next generation of employees. the coalition government and the referendum. The defining events over the past decade for this Generation have been multi-party elections. but the next generation of consumers who will ultimately determine whether future businesses will succeed or fail. the NARC government. a growing segment of majority of whom have just joined the workforce. 66% of the respondents of the PricewaterhouseCoopers 2009 National Human Resource survey reported that Gen Y employees already make up between 25% and 75% of the workforce.Introduction Gen Y are clearly a fast Generation Y are the individuals born between 1979 and 1990. Kenya’s workforce In Kenya. post election violence.

However. it is socially acceptable to conduct lively text message Generation Y wants to be rewarded conversations or post status updates for carrying out the most mundane online whilst ignoring present of tasks. a Facebook group page. Ours is a for this generation. sometime outlandish and we use the Internet to stay up expectations of life. many of us. We are children of the company. For sources. It is assumed working and efficient. values but we also find it easier to Generation Y prefers to launch communicate with our friends online a movement in cyberspace and than in person. fulfilled now! we enjoy many of the same manual books or programmes and websites as our For this generation. The others tend to be for information online. We believe that life is technology. we all received stand out as the most popular media prizes ‘for participating’. We are well aware good and we can succeed. especially that Generation Y is too engrossed because we have the technologies in using the Internet and new and tools to get more done in Generation Y searches forms of technology for them to less time.Understanding the needs of Gen Y I would characterise Generation Generation Y is absorbed in a Y workers as nice. place where we go—it is ‘something . the world and to date. Internet use mixed bag. and group meetings. In many ways. Generation Y’s expressive social Generation Y searches for networking may have a downside. While Generation X and the workplace. protest. cyberspace and playing video any other generation and we receive games may be at the expense our news from multiple online of face-to-face interactions. Technology is the encourage the masses to join in via key to our hearts and minds. Instead. notice traditional media. Generation Y has not abandoned wanting all of our needs to be rather than reading TV for new media and interestingly. We of how social changes affect us have huge. ‘trophy age’. the time that we spend reading manual books or articles. rather than however. information online. optimistic and world made possible through happy. where there were no real winners or losers in competitive Although radio and television still sports. Charles Simba is a manager in Technology in the Advisory Department at online. earlier generations participated in we are returning to traditional rallies. Many of us are hard is rapidly growing. downright lazy and self-indulgent. work is not a articles older peers. interacting with friends in We regularly read more blogs than PricewaterhouseCoopers.

does not count as ‘work’.Showing up on time and we do’. results. does their lives in order to fit into the not count as ‘work’ workplace. according to PwC’s HR Survey. according to PwC’s HR and flexible working hours. We are therefore ready to make some adjustments keen to leverage technologies like and adapt to the changing mobile computing and the Internet to demographics of today’s workforce. We would prefer to Companies that will reap the most adjust the workplace such that it value from this generation must be suits our lifestyles. This Survey. social networking and the ability to focus putting effort in without therefore. but they are learning generation also values professional to manage Generation Y’s networks and gym memberships. Survey. According to taking their opinions seriously and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2010 HR creating clear progression paths. fast lane. Our generation is hesitant to adjust the sky is the only limit. With fantastic team work. Employers are struggling to accommodate flexible working hours. the top three most sought- after benefits amongst Generation Employers are struggling to Y workers include access to online accommodate flexible working social networks. make our working schedules more These companies will demonstrate flexible. on multiple tasks at the same time. advanced skills in technology. expectations so that our hard work is rewarded appropriately without Generation Y has been built for the alienating older generations. successfully that Generation Y adds real value to their organisations. flexible dress code hours. Showing up on time and putting effort in without results. but they are learning to manage Generation Y’s expectations . therefore.

Chartered Institute of Personnel Development in the UK shows that They are driven by praise. for their contributions and extends Recognition.Generation Y Recognition. traditional career path based on time high turnover must not be ignored. not a concept that they relish. Generation Y workers want to Y workers. However. Nicholas Odhiambo. feedback. tutoring characteristics of is meaningful and contributes to and relationships with leadership Generation Y major corporate decisions. and stability. Engagement and Personal Development Recognition. accords them validation Born between 1978 and 1990. adds to their skills base. the own their own careers. They need to know that their work Mentoring. is a consultant in People & Change in the Advisory served and rungs on the ladder is Department at PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC’s HR Survey found desire to be fully engaged in their that 66% of employers report that workplace but they also want to Generation Y makes up between contribute to major decisions. The personal development availability of information is essential Generation Y workers often want are some of to keeping them engaged and help in areas like financial success performing effectively. Generation Y workers possess to them plenty of opportunities for engagement and high self esteem and a tremendous growth. health the outstanding and fitness and career development. Not only do they three years. according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2010 HR Research conducted by the Survey. traditional innovation and creativity embodied development plans are not enough. The 25% and 75% of their workforces. by Generation Y is having a profound impact on the business Generation Y workers look for work landscape. that interests them. also have outsized expectations ‘the Millennials’ are a generation which need to be managed carefully. Almost by definition. and enhance their experience. relationships. At the same time. they can Generation Y. . engagement and they require constant constructive personal development are some of feedback about their contributions the outstanding characteristics of and suggestions. need for mobility and flexibility. Many Millennials have watched their parents work for the same Employers face a number of organisations for their entire significant challenges with regard to professional lives only to be laid attracting and retaining Generation off. of question askers. 50% of Generation Y workers who entertainment and instant join an organization leave within gratification.

For Generation Y. and retain Generation Y workers. accountability Many employers struggle to hire gives them a sense of ownership. flexibility. resourcefulness and participate in brainstorming and patience to generate results and transparency.For Generation Y. allowing them to creativity. Extra time spent in validating the Employers must demonstrate ideas they bring. higher rewards praised. Gallup in 2009 indicates that an engaged employee is one that is accountability gives personal freedom. Challenging assignments and effective leadership. feels encouraged and who and policies supporting work-life enjoys plenty of opportunities for them a sense of balance are the keys to Generation development. resourcefulness and patience to generate results and keep this generation engaged . ownership Y’s staying power. Employers must demonstrate creativity. continuous feedback keep this generation engaged. and positive reinforcement signify An employee attitude survey by recognition to this group.

to bring out the clear dimensions nearly 90% of the world’s top 200 of the generational issues in the technology savvy and firms are currently led by Boomers workplace. nearly half the peers at the company. extensive use news and updated her blog. dominated by the free tweeted her colleagues with the flow of information. which he environments and markets and recommended that the manager complex issues. her colleagues in the office. Which of social media. She constantly shared her frustrations The Baby Boomers created a Wairimu R. considered as technology savvy and highly ambitious. Only pharmaceutical agency. particularly with regard to highly ambitious or people from an even older Generation Y. Janet bumped pyramidal structures underpinned by into the Managing Director of the command and control. For purposes of this While working on a project. According to research. However. She 23 of them are led by members of consistently performs at par or Generation X (those born between superior to her peers. in the Advisory Department through Twitter and Facebook with corporate. Njage is a manager in People and Change. Constantly in need of illustrates. On a landscape dominated by hierarchical separate occasion. Generation company at a golf tournament and Y are coming into the workplace in an “elevator” speech presented against a world context in which the her ideas. She immediately world is flat. Generation Y grappling with the challenges arising is typically described as selfish to from managing different generations being very generous particularly with at work. Generation Y can be feedback. She is bright 1965 and 1971). It is worth noting and confident just like most of her that by 2014. rapidly changing the Chairman liked. . on the project. But is this Generation Y can born between 1955 and 1964) are really the case? There is still room now at the top of their game in the for in-depth academic research be considered as work place. In speaking Organisations around the world are with HR managers. Welcome to the world of Generation Y. implement. She discussed them research shows that there are with the project manager who puts various and conflicting age-based the brakes on implementing them definitions. political and economic at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Generation Y also known as came up with what she considered Millennials can be defined at those as brilliant ideas to resolve issues born between after 1977).Generation Y places new demands on employees Janet Ouko is a bright upcoming generation (probably older Boomers engineer with the leading who were born before 1955). as they were fairly radical. employees in the world will those born after 1980. The Baby Boomers (those regard to social causes. she article. Hungry and in a hurry As the short fictional anecdote for success.

stretching and this generation can manage their intellectually stimulating. whose corporate sustainability that they are in charge of building practices no longer met their own. build a virtual network managing their work. work place as for them. focus on the following: For Generation Y. In around working hours. flow of information. They are likely to shift expected and taken for granted. They do not autonomy for the individual to not necessarily on monetary expect jobs for life and also do not develop themselves. own learning and work with peers to provide a regular flow of information Secondly. The of associates around the globe. Most married multiple cultures and economies settle down later than their parent’s Generation Y couples will be in the without the need to return to their generation. One can expect them to leave if and has within it opportunities for countries but will follow well paid not promoted. of Generation Y participants said possibilities and developing in Creating norms and frameworks is that they would leave an employer different directions. They believe important. gender equality is now Flexibility: Providing flexibility country. They in managing Generation Y staff. work-life balance although important constructive feedback managers should be set against the context of are bound to be put under pressure fulfilling and enjoyable work. well as technical skills. with clear. they are keen to capital is important for this that they will increasingly view learn self management and personal generation. African Community Common Market they may not differ from the Generation Y are coming into the workplace against a world context in which the world is flat. addition. seek careers and job assignments Emphasis should be put on how that are challenging. However. PwC research shows In line with this. as the top five characteristics of Generation Y particularly those The challenges for organisations who are young professionals. immediate. colleagues are important organisations. work is a key part Work Management: Given their of life and therefore issues around need for constant. they tend to be high and feedback. expectations of different there are emerging themes that generations. social and emotional Thirdly. packages across functional areas. if at all. is meaningful . Generation Y will tend to and benefits. their own careers through working in The Design of Work: Developing positions that would develop them. achievers and therefore it is important for organisations to Management of Boundaries: engage fully with their staff. intellectual. They prefer self dynamics. They Generation Y tend to use technology expect clear road maps for success Protocol in July 2010 will amplify at lot more than other generations. With regard to internal They reach out to peers in their feedback offered. Generation define this generation. deciding what and development is important to information should be maintained them. delivers sufficient will be on interest and opportunity. opportunities internationally while spending spells in their home Fifth. Organisations will need the organisation and the world productivity skills as well as gain to focus on designing work that without boundaries. in a research Fourth. The launch of East In looking at these characteristics. consistent and constant this trend. 80% defined by an infinite number of be brought into the work domain. In addition. regular feedback. Research Y tends to be more vocal about their has identified what we consider expectations. they see their careers in the public domain and what can study conducted by PwC. men and women. dominated by the free flow of information . They will happily begin intend to work in an organisation for learning.Despite the dearth of research. family is not home counties until later in their a women’s issue but a issues for careers. and HR Managers in designing These are generalised but provide talent management programmes to useful roadmap for organisations to take these issues into account will manage this cohort of employees. In line with to Generation Y employees. challenging careers in Kenya or their home life. roles. allows for rapid rewards. The this they prefer managers to coach network of friends that they make at challenge is around managing the and mentor them given that growth work is also important. Their focus industry/functional knowledge as is meaningful.


com/ke This publication has been prepared as general information on matters of interest only. and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. © 2010 PricewaterhouseCoopers. PriceewaterhouseCoopers refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited each of which is a separate and independent legal entity. .pwc.www. All rights reserved.