Gen Y In Business – Grabbing The Reigns With Passion And Purpose

At the recent Fiji Institute of Accountants Forum at the Grand Pacific Hotel in October, I delivered two presentations, both concerning Gen Y. These are the highlights of my second
12 Nov 2016 11:19
Gen Y In Business – Grabbing The Reigns With Passion And Purpose

At the recent Fiji Institute of Accountants Forum at the Grand Pacific Hotel in October, I delivered two presentations, both concerning Gen Y.

These are the highlights of my second speech.

The world is changing rapidly and it is not the same place as it was even five years ago.

The birth of the internet has created a global village where messages are transported across the world in nano-seconds, business transactions secured in minutes and fortunes made or lost in less than that!

Much of business success and world peace moving forward depends on Generation Y – the young leaders of today and tomorrow.

But what will it take to lead them successfully?  What is needed to take top position in a sea of competition? What does Gen Y need to do to lead Organisations and Fiji into the future?


Getting the Generations Right!

Who exactly is Generation Y and where do they fit into the generational rankings?

In essence, Gen Y is the younger generation of workers either entering the workplace or those younger people who have recently started their careers.

 Generation Z (iGen or Post Millenials): Early 2000’s to 2025

 iGen, Gen Z or Centennials: Born 1996 and later

 Gen Y or Millennials: Born 1977 to 1995

Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976

 Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964

Traditionalists: Born 1945 and before

Although it appears so in the information above, the exact dates and cut-off ages for each generation are not specific.

One of the most difficult challenges current executives and business owners face is to encourage better relationships and communication between the various generations at work.

That is ensuring that age and experience are factors that unite the generations, not separate them through frustration and impatience with each other.


Gen Y in Business – How you roll!

Recent research about Gen Y has shown various important indicators that outline who Gen Y is and what they are about.

 Mobile, tech-savvy, ambitious

 28% of managerial positions in the USA are held by Gen Y’s

 Confident, motivated and want work-balance

 The ‘Entitlement’ Generation

 The most highly educated generation of all time

 Best educated but many struggle in poor economic environment

 Most vulnerable generation in economic downturns.


“Simply, for Gen Y to be exceptional leaders, they have to learn how to communicate and collaborate across an Organisation in an authentic way”

– Richard Branson, 2016, Founder, Virgin Airlines

Myths about Gen Y at Work

The battle between the Baby Boomers and Gen Y at work is generally centred around three main areas, all of which the former regularly accuse the latter of being guilty.

  1. Disrespectful of authority
  2. Flippant and disloyal to their Organisation
  3. Lazy and narcissistic

The Research tells us very interesting facts about the truth of these matters.

Disrespectful of Authority – the studies indicate that Gen Y believe all employees should be respectful towards their boss and workplace authority.

Interestingly Gen Y is interested in productivity and outputs of their Managers and many believe their managers don’t do enough.

71% of those studied had left their previous position because of an incompetent manager.

Flippant and disloyal – The studies also show that Gen Y are as loyal to their Organisation as other generations, although they place greater importance on their career development and will not stay in an Organisation if they feel their development is not considered and training opportunities for them are not provided.

Lazy and narcissistic – Gen Y are as productive and hard-working as the older Generations but they want to work more remotely, with greater flexibility and in their own time.



The answer to Gen Y leading Fiji forward into the future is to help build leadership capabilities, to enhance the nation’s competence by influencing others and to help Fiji become the world leader, even if small, that it is destined to be!

Generation Y is our future and within the workplace, they need to be grown and developed, with the serious intention of preparing them to lead Organisations and in some cases, countries.

We must see Gen Y as diamonds in our businesses, not as young, technologically annoying workforce members.  Our role is to grow and develop them, in the hope that they will create a better world than exists today.
Caryn Walsh is an International Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker. Do you have a question about your team or business.  If you or your Organisation would like to work with her, please email her at to discuss your needs.

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