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Report debunks myths surrounding Generation Y in health sector

30th June 2008

A report published by the Chartered Management Institute shatters many long-held beliefs about Generation Y.  Exploring the aspirations, working styles and motivations of today’s younger managers in the health sector it exposes as myth the view that Generation Y is self-absorbed, disloyal and impatient.
 
The study, based on qualitative and quantitative research of managers aged 35 and under, indicates that today’s younger managers in the health sector are focused on long-term skills development to boost their career options.
 
Combined with analysis of the views of management students, the study, published with Ordnance Survey, will be used to help business leaders and employers in the sector understand how to recruit, develop and retain younger managers.  Key findings include:

  • Selfless, not selfish: far from the stereotypical view of Generation Y as self-indulgent, younger managers in the health sector are driven by ethics and a sense of purpose.  Only 13 per cent claimed they ‘would quit their job tomorrow’ if they won the lottery.  93 per cent in the sector ‘want to work for an organisation that does something I believe in’ and 68 per cent ‘would only work for organisations with strong values’
  • Committed to the cause: debunking the myth that Generation Y lacks commitment, the report shows that 68 per cent of respondents in the health sector have been in their current job for 3 years or more and only 2 per cent strongly agreed with the statement that ‘there’s no point being excessively loyal to an organisation’.  Two-fifths (41 per cent) also work in the evenings, if necessary, 36 per cent work at weekends and 22 per cent also use ‘travel time’ for working
  • Long-term career planning: the idea that Generation Y is less committed to career planning has also been shattered by the study.  Asked why they joined their current employer, many in the health sector (71 per cent) focused on the long-term career opportunities available.  71 per cent also claim to have a personal development plan in place and 69 per cent suggest they ‘know what they need to achieve their ambitions’.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says: “Generation Y has been dismissed as self-centred, yet the evidence shows that this is not the case.  Overall there is a strong desire to develop at work and enjoy their job, with inability to progress a strong negative for them.  Yet, at the same time, busy individuals working long hours can quickly become demotivated and leave.  In an era where skills are at a premium, organisations need to be aware of this and act before it becomes reality.”

Further analysis of the research shows today’s younger managers in the sector believe that their future success depends on skills development.  Asked what would appeal about job opportunities, just 21 per cent said pay is very important.  The majority (78 per cent) suggested they would be attracted to employers offering training and development.  87 per cent also claimed the ‘challenge of work’ is a key factor influencing their choice of job.

Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, comments: “It is clear from the study that younger managers wish to acquire transferable skills; with the shortage of skills across the UK continuing to be a factor for organisations, this is something that should be welcomed.  The research confirms that there is considerable value in investing in training, both for the individual and the employer.”

Called ‘Generation Y: unlocking the talent of young managers’, an executive summary is downloadable via www.managers.org.uk/Gen-Y.

 

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