Screw the cash, we just wanna have fun at work
Spending hours sorting mail and doing the coffee run might have been seen as perfectly appropriate tasks for the office junior in the past, but this new lot of Generation Y employees seem to be more educated, more tech savvy and won’t mind telling you to shove your old school pecking order.
A recent CISCO workplace survey targeting Generation Y young professionals and university students in 14 countries, including Australia, found that 52 per cent of Australians surveyed indicated that they would, ‘sacrifice the extra salary for the opportunity to work wherever they’re most productive and happiest’.
Unlike the previous working generations who are not too eager to change jobs let alone careers, members of Generation Y seem to embrace change and feel more empowered in the workforce. They don’t perceive their jobs as a lifetime commitment that pays the bills. Instead many of them strive to secure jobs in line with their desired lifestyle.
Recognised by BRW Magazine as the ‘Second Best Place to Work in Australia’, just behind Google, E-Web Marketing, is a company that prides itself on attracting employees from Generation Y. The company has specific strategies to ensure that their young staff always feels happy and that they ‘have fun’ at work.
Gary Ng, Chief ‘Empowerment’ Officer (CEO) of E-Web Marketing has been instrumental in attracting Generation Y employees to the company and he believes the technology-based working environment is what draws them in. However, he is quick to note that the company’s ethos is what keeps his young team happy and productive.
‘We care about fun, the happiness and success of each of our team members. So it is not something we feel is unnatural to us. Gen Y are creative and passionate if you empower them, as opposed to trying to box them in.’
Ng also identifies what he believes are the differences between the previous generations of professionals, ‘Gen Y want to have the best of everything and they want it now. In the baby boomers days and even Gen X to a lesser extent, work was seen as critical for them to earn a living to attain an income to sustain their lifestyle.’
Ng believes that because Generation Y have observed rapid changes in technology they expect instant results in the workplace with ‘minimal input.’ He says the way to encourage them to do their best work is to challenge and reward them.
Sydney based Marketing Coordinator Danielle Walker, 25, believes career based decisions should be made according on one’s overall lifestyle ideals. She recalls changing jobs eight times and has worked in a variety of fields.
Walker says she has never feared changing jobs. She says, ‘it is about finding what you enjoy doing.’
Walker explains the differing attitude of her parents in regards to the nature of work, ‘they believe once you have a job you stay in your job for many years, regardless of whether you enjoy it or not. I believe we only work to live, not live to work, so I have found a job I enjoy doing.
‘It does not pay the highest amount of money but as I am happy coming to work each day my happiness is at an optimum level whilst my pay cheque is enough to live.’
According to Senior Consultant at LifeWorks in the Workplace, Leah Walls, Walker’s is a common Generation Y perspective. She believes that young members of today’s workforce seem to expect more than just monetary reward.
‘While traditionally the view was that salary was the main incentive for providing staff with job satisfaction, increasingly there is the realisation that autonomy and work life balance are more and more important to people. Gen Y’s have also seen their parents work hard and then reappraise that later in their life,’ says Walls.
Walls believes that the days of getting a promotion based on age or company loyalty are diminishing and job hopping is no longer feared but seen as a means of ‘climbing corporate ladders’.
You can follow Naomi Tsvirko on Twitter @writeaboutme_au
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