Generational communication behavior
What the new generation expects of employers



The demographic shift is palpable. Specialists are becoming rare. New strategies are needed in the battle for good minds. Generation Y does not care much about high salaries, high-flying careers, company cars, and hip leisure activities. Instead, it is very important for young people to have enough time with their friends and family. The don't want to just work, they want to live as well - preferably with flexible organization thanks to start-of-the-art communication tools that increase the mobility of collaboration on the whole.


When Generation Y entered the world of work, it also changed the demands placed on employers. Even though it is still important, salary is now only one aspect among many factors that, in the end, decide whether a company is attractive for young talents or not. Digital natives take a closer look at potential employers and, in contrast to earlier generations, Millennials who are unsatisfied with their work or their working conditions are more willing to look for a new job. That is why the war of talents is not just about winning over specialists. It is also about keeping them, for example, by using working models that are attractive to young specialists.

To the definition

Members of Generation Y were born between 1980 and 2000, in other words, people who are now between 18 and 38 years old. The term Generation Y appeared for the first time in 1993 in the marketing magazine "Advertising Age".

Other sources call this generation Millennials.

Young people born between approximately 1995 and 2010 belong to Generation Z. Other classifications claim people born between 2000 and 2015 belong to this generation. What do they have in common? They grew up with digital technologies, which is why they are also called digital natives. This is in contrast to members of Generation Y, who first encountered digitalization during adolescence and are often also referred to as digital immigrants.


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The biggest challenges at a glance

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    Studies have shown that classic workplaces with constant office presence and a rigid ICT infrastructure is no longer attractive. Home office and flexible working hours are becoming increasingly popular with applicants and candidates. Very young people in particular are placing more value on a good work-life balance. Companies who offer employees more freedom often win the competition for top talents who have just graduated from university.
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    In the study "Millennials in the Career Marathon: How Companies Around the Word Can Win the Next Biggest Generation", for example, the Manpower Group reports that 79 percent of Generation Y feel flexible working time is very important. In a survey by the American Fortune Ranking, 76 of them said they valued employers who let them choose their working time as they please. 82 percent mentioned mobile workplaces as a decisive evaluation criterion.
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    Obeya is Japanese and means "large room". Obeya is essentially a lean management tool. Lean management encompasses principles and methods for considerably accelerating processes. In an Obeya, for example, everybody who is involved in a process can convene in a large room, reach agreements more quickly, and make decisions independently of hierarchies and departmental boundaries.
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    88 percent of Generation Z use their smartphone for messenger services, and 84 percent cannot imagine everyday life without WhatsApp. 51 percent of them open their messenger service first thing in the morning. While Facebook is still the most-used social network among people between 21 and 34 years old, it is becoming less and less popular with 14- to 20-year-olds. At this point, they use Facebook's subsidiary Instagram more than Facebook itself. Snapchat, on the other hand, is purely for Generation Z. Millennials hardly use it at all.

    In contrast to older colleagues, they also have no inhibitions regarding innovative communication and collaboration technologies. On the contrary, the German Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO reports that digital natives enjoy being present in virtual spaces. It also highly appeals to them to work in teams they organize themselves.

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    But be careful: According to a study by embrace, 95 percent of future specialists expect companies to give them enough time for family and private activities.

    82 percent even demand that working environments optimally adapt to their own private situation, and 71 percent want to separate private and professional life completely, meaning when the workday is done, they have no more contact with supervisors and colleagues. Availability on demand is thus becoming less and less popular, as are hierarchies and top-down communication. The following therefore applies to Generation Y: The trend is heading towards strictly separating private and professional mobile terminal devices, which is certainly in line with the new data protection ordinances (link to data protection article).

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    Sunrise is an expert for collaborative Work Smart solutions in the business environment. They unite the comfort and user-friendliness of consumer applications like WhatsApp but are custom business solutions for companies that want to give their employees more mobility. They unite functions like instant messaging, video conferencing, desktop sharing, team coordination, and sharing documents in a single application. In this way, the new generation of specialists can keep working with the tools it knows from everyday life without needing to compromise on the need for privacy.
Further articles
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Will offices soon be a thing of the past?

Data protection ordinance GDPR

What the EU law means for Swiss companies