Gen Y Workers Want More out of Bosses

November 12, 2007 ( - A new survey finds that Generation Y workers expect a lot from their company leaders and look to them as partners in success and job satisfaction.

A news release from Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs about the survey of Americans aged 21 to 28 said respondents ranked “a more prestigious job title” last among seven factors that would prompt them to leave their current jobs. Opportunity for professional growth and advancement ranked as a greater career priority, the research showed.

According to the news release, survey respondents rated working with a boss they respect and can learn from as the most important aspect of their work environment, ahead of having a nice office space, a short commute, or working for a socially responsible company.

Respondents also indicated they expect more “face time” from their supervisors than a weekly status meeting. The majority of Generation Y workers (60%) said they want to hear from their managers at least once a day.

In addition, the survey found Generation Y workers – like their Baby Boomer counterparts – are most concerned about getting quality health care and achieving a work/life balance when they stop working. Many respondents asserted they also will have to save more money for retirement and study harder than generations past. In fact, nearly three out of four (73%) respondents said they will likely go back to school for another academic degree or certification.

“The research depicts a pragmatic, future-oriented generation that holds many of the same values as its predecessors,” said Reesa Staten, senior vice president and director of workplace research for Robert Half International, in the news release. “Yet, certain distinctive qualities, such as a desire for very frequent feedback from their managers, are unique to this generation. Generation Y expects a lot of its leaders. Making sure supervisors of Gen Y professionals have supportive management styles can go a long way in attracting and retaining these workers, who will play a greater role in organizations as more baby boomers retire.”

The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2007 by an independent research firm. It includes a total of 1,007 web interviews of people 21 to 28 years old who are employed full-time or part-time, and have college degrees or are currently attending college. Among those surveyed, 505 were males, and 502 were females.