Gen Y Brings Entitlement Attitude to the Workforce

December 10, 2007 ( - Those Gen Y kids whom adults complained were defiant and expected much from the world have entered the workforce and brought their attitudes with them.

A new survey found 87% of responding hiring managers and HR professionals said some or most Gen Y (age 29 and younger) workers feel entitled to more in terms of compensation, benefits and career advancement than do workers from older generations. According to a press release on the survey, 73% of hiring managers and HR professionals ages 25 to 29 share this sentiment.

Employers provided the following examples of GenY worker expectations:

  • 74% of employers said Gen Y workers expect to be paid more.
  • 61% said Gen Y workers expect to have flexible work schedules.
  • 56% said Gen Y workers expect to be promoted within a year.
  • 50% said Gen Y workers expect to have more vacation or personal time.
  • 37% said Gen Y workers expect to have access to state-of-the-art technology.

And, some of the young workforce seems to be getting its way. According to the press release, 15% of employers said they changed or implemented policies to accommodate Gen Y workers, including:

  • More flexible work schedules (57%);
  • More recognition programs (33%);
  • More access to state-of-the-art technology (26%);
  • Increased salaries and bonuses (26%);
  • More ongoing education programs (24%);
  • Paying for cell phones, blackberries, etc. (20%);
  • More telecommuting options (18%); and
  • More vacation time (11%).

In addition, over half (55%) of employers over the age of 35 said they feel Gen Y workers have a more difficult time taking direction or responding to authority than workers from other generations.

The survey also found nearly half (49%) of responding employers said the biggest gap in communication styles between Gen Y workers and workers older than them is that Gen Y workers communicate more through technology than in person. Another one-in-four (25%) said Gen Y workers have a different frame of reference, especially in terms of pop culture.

The survey, “Gen Y at Work,” was conducted from June 1 to June 13, 2007, among 2,546 hiring managers and Human Resource professionals across all industries.