With Blackberrys in their pockets and laptops under their arms, the ‘Y’ generation, or ‘The Millenials’, is now leaving the university and hitting the workforce to become the fastest growing group in the commercial world.
The ‘Y gens’ have a different work ethic to that of their work-centric parents; for them, family comes first. They are ambitious but they will not submit to a culture of overwork, preferring a work/life balance to higher pay. They are team players but will question authority. They are loyal but expect loyalty in return and they need to be kept in the loop and given feedback on their performance.
Like the ‘X’ generation that preceded them and who are now the middle managers, the ‘Y gens’ are fundamentally different to the men and women who are now the corporate leaders. As such, they need a different human resource approach from the ‘baby boomer’ employers who may view them as self-centered and lacking commitment to their jobs.
Crossroads do twice each – HR Consultants is a Melbourne based company that outsources HR consulting services through business partnering. They also understand that corporate decision-makers may have been pushed, screaming, into the age of electronic communications but they are not as comfortable with it as their ‘X’ and ‘Y’ gen employees. Most of them are Baby Boomers, many even from the ‘black and white’ age before coloured television and photographs, and they need to look into peoples’ eyes and read their body language to fully communicate. They come from the age of the business lunch, where agreements were reached over a cup of coffee or over a beer at the local businessmen’s club.
Crossroads HR also understands that business today is operating in different and changing times. The internet and improved electronic communication systems are impacting on the way business is being conducted and the increasing role of ‘Y gens’ in the labour market demands a considered human resource approach.
This is the approach that Crossroads HR consultancy is taking with their prospective clients. “We don’t just give them a sales talk, we exchange thoughts and ideas. After all, we’ll be HR partners working together – not just us providing a service to the client. What better way to get that partnership started than by having a chat and a cuppa together?” A Crossroads consultant explained.
Crossroads is putting the ‘human’ back into HR by meeting the human needs of the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ generations but also the different needs of the corporate leaders to create HR partnerships where communication diversity is recognised and embraced.
Crossroads really is at the crossroads where the generations meet.