As Baby Boomers begin to retire at an increasing rate, Generation Y is starting to dominate the workplace in Hong Kong. This has started to lead to a noticeable generation gap in the workplace between management and employees. In an effort to bridge that gap, both parties must begin to understand how their needs and expectations differ.
Generation Y is much more technologically advanced than any other generation. Because of this, we tend to rely on text messages more than phone calls and emails and Im more than in-person conversations. We also tend to crave immediate feedback while non-Gen Y bosses prefer to communicate only occasionally. Our generation also tends to value a happy work-social life balance more than previous generations. We tend to be very independent and are more accustomed to busier lifestyles. Our generation also is more family oriented, more group oriented, are more outspoken, and strive for individuality.
With up to four or five generations in one work place, how can we begin to bridge the generational gap? There has already been an increase in multigenerational programs. These programs focus on getting their work done without allowing differences in age and background to affect their productivity. A higher understanding for generations different than your own is also very important. Being more understanding of other generations can allow people from every generation to better adapt to both their coworkers and management.
A huge piece of advice to management who may not know how to work with our generation- give more guidance and more support. Job satisfaction, learning opportunities, and different work exposure are all great ways to motivate Generation Y, and it all begins with the way our generations can work together.