Managing Gen Y: The Characteristic of Gen Y in the Hospitality Industry
By Judy Hou Directeur General/CEO , Glion Institute of Higher Education Worldwide | October 06, 2013
'Generation Y' also known worldwide as the 'The Millennial Generation', 'Echo Boomers and 'Generation Next' can fall under differing age classifications and so we will classify them as people born between 1979 and 1994. This brings the Gen Y age range in 2013 to be around 19-34 years of age.
In Greater China, Gen Y are more commonly referred to as 'The Post 80's Generation' born between 1980 and 1989; bringing their age range in 2013 to be around 24-33 years of age. Gen Y in Mainland China are an estimated 230 million (National Bureau of Statistic China, 2010) strong employee demographic, a well above mid range figure when compared with other climbing BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies worldwide, as we see an estimated 60 million in Brazil in 2011, an estimated 40 million in Russia in 2011, and the global highest, an estimated 500 million in India (CIA, 2011). As we take in global Gen Y stats we are incited to recline in surprise at a worldwide estimate of 1.7 billion (Puybarud, 2010), representing a whopping 25.47% of our world's population.
Generation Y, whether we understand them or not, should certainly not have their needs ignored in business from a human resource perspective. Each individual is not a rarity; it is imperative that we harness the strengths and address the weaknesses of this kind if we are to evolve our recruitment and training methods to become future-proof ahead of the next decade.
In their lifetime, Gen Y individuals around the world have experienced key generation defining milestones, spanning the onset of the burgeoning information age generated by the unparalleled Digital Revolution which delivered a choice-rich culture, to parenting style shifts whereby everyone was rewarded for taking part rather than rewarded on merits of contribution and success.
In Greater China, the Post 80's Generation has grown up through an unprecedented boom in China's economy and the reignited international integration of China through globalization. In parallel to this, Post-80s have witnessed acute defining moments of their era: the resumption of the college entrance examination system, their own reality as children born under the one child policy enforced in the late 70's, the ceasing of guaranteed university graduate job allocation in the early 90's, and a dramatic rise in the cost of living moving into the 21st century involving the rise of property prices, moving the goal posts for the prospect of marriage and a family further beyond for this age group.
These collective lifetime experiences have impacted the global adolescent youth of this time and brought about some defining unique characteristics, allowing us to form some generation generalizations. Crucially in Greater China, the high acceleration of great change has made these characteristics even more so clearly apparent. As young children, these individuals were nicknamed "little emperors", the adored descendants of two parents and four grandparents. These successors born into special treatment at this pivotal time have aged into adulthood with a large network, cosmopolitan culture, global contacts and knowledge at their fingertips like never before.