Generation Y Not Interested in Business as Usual

Date: Feb. 2, 2006
CONTACT: John Davis,; Michael Castellon,

What served to motivate baby boomers in the business world may drive off members of Generation Y – born after 1977 and next in line for rule of the country’s corporate world, according to Texas Tech University experts in business.

Like their Generation X counterparts, Gen Y members are defined by business experts as the group least loyal to institutions, including their employers, says Chris Trank, assistant professor of management at the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. While their Baby Boomer bosses expect members of Gen Y to plod their way up the corporate ladder, the Generation Y group expects to have immediate impact on what goes on at work, and see little reason to spend time paying their dues Combined with the Gen Y members’ willingness to move on if a better deal comes along, companies may have to significantly change their way of thinking about motivation and career paths to retain the younger generation.

However, Generation X may have nothing on the Generation Y group, she says.

The Y group, about 60 million strong, is just coming into the workplace and is almost as large as the baby-boomers born between 1945 and 1963. A recent story in BusinessWeek says they’re three times as large as Generation X.

"The key issue in the workplace in the next 10 years is not Gen X, but rather Gen Y," Trank says. "They’re the generation sometimes called the "echo boom" or millenials. These are the children of the baby-boomers born after 1977 who are just coming into the workplace. The reason they will be interesting is because of the size of this generation. It is almost as large as the baby-boomer generation. The Gen X cohort is actually quite small in comparison. In the same way that baby boomers came in like a tidal wave over markets, culture, and business when they came of age, we need to expect the same from Gen Y. While everyone is obsessing about Gen Xers, we need to get ready for Gen Y."