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eFC TV: Gen Y - How You Tick Off Your Boss and What You Can Do About It

Douglas Bisio, president Greenwich Fund Services, a hedge fund administration firm based in Greenwich, Conn., says those born between 1979 and 1995 are plagued with qualities that are tough to stomach.


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Bisio, who graduated from college in 1995, sees an immense disconnect between his contemporaries and younger colleagues.

"Today people don't have the patience to learn what it takes to really be successful in a job," he said to eFC News. "They want money to buy a good cell phone or good-looking shoes, but when it comes to staying late and pitching in in the back office, where you can really learn the business, they have no patience for it."

Ron Reueven, who at 30 has been running his own financial services firm for seven years, agrees that his age peers are lacking in a work ethic. "Instead of trying to get a job, they're interviewing you, asking 'What are you going to offer me?,'" he says. Typical requirements of potential recruits include trying out the job for a while before committing, making their own schedule, and working from home. "Commuting is actually very hard for them," Reuven says. Staff members younger than 30 often arrive late, but argue that they were only 15 minutes late or were tardy just once that week. "I can't motivate them to work," he says.

Who or what's to blame? Reuven believes those raised in the 80s and 90s were "rewarded for mediocre performance. If they came in sixth place they got a trophy anyways," he says. Bisio points to unprecedented societal shifts. When he came of age, credit was not readily available, and affluence was tough to come by. Today, the ability to buy on credit, combined with tales of Wall Streeters making millions overnight, has fostered unrealistic expectations in young adults, he says.

Michael Harrington, who specializes in training managers on how to communicate with Gen Y for New Directions Consulting in North Bennington, Vt., says these are common complaints. It behooves both older and younger workers to understand what drives Gen Y. He says Gen Y must remember:

- You are probably up against a company culture that is decades old.

- You are there to add value to your employer and make your boss's life easier - drama and hand-holding subtract from value.

- You must be even more flexible and valuable in today's economy. The competition is stiffer than ever.

"The younger worker can't walk in and say, 'Here are my demands and this is what I expect,' and it's not about the manager handing over the keys to the kingdom and letting them run free," Harrington says. "Both have to find middle ground and be flexible."

AUTHOREmma Johnson Insider Comment
  • Ol
    Old Timer
    7 January 2011

    Don't forget a lot of Gen Y have seen their parents work tooth and nail, sacrificing family life to get ahead, only then to be made redundant when things got tough. Most now have also expereinced the loyalty of their former employer, so why wouldn't they try to get the best they can when times are good.

    There is more to life than sitting at a desk.

  • Ge
    Gen X Worker
    6 January 2011

    When I started work in 1995 I was working until 10-11pm every night for $32,000 per year. It was absolutely normal in my office and the "incentive" was to show that I had drive and could be trusted with a promotion and build future prospects. Of course it sucked. It was work and I couldn't blog or be in a band or whatever on my little free time. But, it was understood back then what was required to learn the business, show dedication and get ahead of my competition.

  • Th
    The Avenger
    6 January 2011

    If you need to collaborate regularly with your colleagues in the office, I would say that either the worker needs to be there on time - or they have their meeting off-site at an interesting place (even Starbucks).

    However, if the worker is like me, that is to say, I do not collaborate with my colleagues, rather I work independently and collaborate with colleagues internationally over Skype and Videoconferencing, than I think there is no need to be in the office. As long as the worker is producing the results, it should not be an issue. Therefore, tardiness is irrelevant.

  • Su
    6 January 2011

    It's so true. Generation today want to get pay high salary and do the minimal. They have the sense of entitlement that they deserve more money, longer break time, shorter commute, free time to take care of personal thing at work hour. They complain when they have to stay a little later to help finish up some work. They come in 30min - 1 hour late and expect to leave on time. And if the raise and bonus is less than company average they complain to the boss and threaten to leave the company. Most of my spend about 50% of the work day socializing and less than 50% of the day doing actual work. In term of quality of the work, they can care less. You probably think I am from an older generation but I am actual born in the 80s. I just can't stand the poor work ethics in the younger generation. I would say even the older generation starting to act the same way.

  • an
    5 January 2011

    I am 28 years old and I cannot agree more. Even though I belong to the Gen Y milieu, I have seen this over demanding syndrome in most of my peers and colleagues. Tardiness at work is often a matter of pride in cafeteria discussions. And in more than one occasion I had to question my own principles. I mean I do realize that everybody has a life and that staying up late in office is definitely not always an indication of a person's dedication to his me..I know it isn't...but coming to office on time, for instance, is imperative! Anyways, I have always been touted as an old fashioned person so maybe that is that. But now, since I am waiting to dive back into active employment, I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty.

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