How HRM Software Helps You Manage Generation Y

Generation Y is the biggest demographic since the ‘Baby Boomers’ and includes people that were born between the 1980s and early 2000s. Members of Gen Y, or ‘Millenials’, are just now asserting themselves in the workforce.  “This generation includes more than 81 million people, approximately 30% of the current population. Generation Y makes up just 15 percent of the U.S. workforce. However, over the next two decades that percentage will grow to approach that of the baby boomers in their prime.”[1]

I am a member of this generation and though not all characteristics of Millenials apply to me, I feel like I still encompass who we are as a demographic. We were raised by technology and instant feedback. We do not like to stay at the same job for too long and strive to expand our world view. We’re described as border-line narcissistic, self-entitled brats and addicted to praise, among other things. Sounds like a Human Resources nightmare, right? Too bad, they’re going to be the workforce majority in a few short years. The solution? Do your homework on Human Resource Management software and implement early.

I am not positive on my figures, but if Gen Y is 30% of the United States population, it’s safe to say at least 30% of the population is glued to their phone. I am no different, my phone goes everywhere I go and I want it to have everything I need (even some things I don’t need). I want to have my bank statements, work schedule, pictures, music, numbers, texts, etc. (what would I do without the pictures of all my meals from the past two years?) With modern and well-built HRM software, you put technology that makes your company more integrated and efficient into the hands of the people that were born equipped to utilize it. Employee Self Service and mobile punching put a lot of the responsibility of Human Resources quite literally in the hands of the people who want that level of responsibility. Imagine a workforce where clocking in is as seamless and easy as checking your email. Where you can book a flight and request time off on the same device. This is how the members of Gen Y are going to want their work experience to feel like, integrated and automated. This is a generation of texters, tweeters, and e-mailers; they are not going to respond to old school HR methodology.

Hey! Wouldn’t this be a perfect time to reread our series on Employee Self Service??

“What if working hard and playing hard weren’t mutually exclusive? A new trend toward “gamification” of HR software attempts to combine work and fun, and although the notion could easily be dismissed as a fad, experts say the reasons to “gamify” work hold water — even if the first products might not.”[2]  Gamification aspects of HR software could be beneficial for a generation of people who are used to constant praise and instantaneous feedback. Millenials grew up playing every game imaginable, with rewards being a focal point for every part of those games. Whether the reward is for scoring a goal in soccer or for a new level in a video game, Millenials have asserted rewards into their hierarchy of needs. Having part of your HRM software dedicated to virtualizing rewards for consistent high performance, make it easy for employees to be excited about their job.

I was once told that when you graduate high school, you will not see 95% of the people you went to high school for the rest of your life. I do not know who came up with that (or even if it’s true) but with social media the way it is, sometimes it feels like I never left high school. Any time I check Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, I can digitally keep up with my old high school friends. I may not “see” them every day or even every year but when I do, I have a general idea of what they have been up to, which seems to break down the barrier of having a conversation with them. HRM systems that integrate or have their own self-sustaining social ecosystem are immediately a step above their competitors. The ability to create your own profile is fun for the employee and makes the hiring process much easier for the employer. Having a system that allows them, in theory, to take over every aspect of their job is quite empowering to a generation that strives for empowerment.

A transformation in the workforce is coming and it is imperative for companies to start planning for it now if they want to attract top talent in the future. Adoption of innovative HRM software systems may seem unnecessary but different generations are motivated by different things and work in different ways. Your HRM software should assist in how you manage, inspire, coach and reward your employees.

[1] Smith, Ross. “Overview of the Generations – Generation Y, Generation X, Boomers and Veterans (Part 4).” We Know Next. N.p., 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

[2] Snider, Emma. “Gamification Software Still in Its Infancy, but Useful for Some.” Tech Target, Dec. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.