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18 Months With Generation Y

April 6

Members of Generation Y are currently averaging 18 months with the same employer according to Penelope Trunk. The reasons for their bi-annual job jump include:

The job is not interesting
Asked to do menial tasks
Long hours, including taking work home
Not allowed to pursue life-long learning

Although this may be the average, savvy employers are finding they can retain Gen Y for much longer periods. Surprisingly the route to longer retention is not just a matter of providing the opposite to the four main reasons they leave. After all, if they do not do the menial tasks of copying and filing, who will?

This is the first age group that has experienced the new style of education from preschool through college. They never sat in rows of desks assigned using some alphabetic system. They learned in work stations where group projects were the way of life.

Retention of this age group is as simple as remembering what they learned throughout their educational days:

* Collaboration. Seek their opinions and enact some of their ideas
* Teamwork. Rolling up your sleeves from time to time and joining them on large tasks
* Gaps. Having a gap between high school and college was perfectly acceptable. Now gaps in employment is equally acceptable. Allow for extended leaves and you’ll get a talented worker back once they have “found themselves”.
* No power struggles. Trying to throw your weight around is a definite turn-off to this generation and they’ll leave before you even know they’re upset. Keep your cool and let them spread their wings. When you do, their wings will take your profits to new heights.

Rick Weaver is an accomplished business executive with experience in retail, market analysis, supply chain enhancement, project management, team building, and process improvement. He has founded Max Impact (, a leadership and business strategy development company, and MBC Global (, a global commerce and education organization. Rick has also written “Life’s Leadership Lessons”, a blend of real-life stories where people, events, and things have provided insight into outstanding leadership.

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One Response to “18 Months With Generation Y”

  1. Tainnidly on April 24th, 2009 4:35 am

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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