Generation Y definition

A demographic cohort containing Individuals born between around 1985 and 1995, although some definitions extend this window until the present day.

Generally speaking there is no universal consensus on the specific traits associated with Generation Y individuals. Some surveys, for example, show narcissism and selfishness as trends, whereas others suggest that a high degree of empathy for others and broad social awareness are key traits of Generation Y individuals.

Generation Y individuals are sometimes referred to as the Peter Pan generation because they have come to delay certain acts, such as moving out of their parents’ house. However, poor economic conditions have also had an effect here and it’s hard to be sure about causation.

With regard to the HR function, authors often talk of making sure that policies are targeted to Generation Y workers who desire specific things from their employer – a good work-life balance, for example, and a sense of contributing to an ethical endpoint.

As consumers, Generation Y are known for taking into account a range of factors when making purchasing decisions, such as the business’s environmental profile and their treatment of employees.

The baby boomers and Generation X precede Generation Y, which is followed by Generation Z.


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