Generation Y – Where are you?

Seeing as that I am part of the generation, affectionately (glass half-full) named Gen Y, this article really interested me.

The article reports, that the Gen Y is on one hand “are the technical revolutionizers, constantly searching for challenges but even so looking for a balance between working and family life”. On the other hand the German Newspaper “Die Welt am Sonntag” calls this generation “The Frugal Generation” and describes us as ” the bourgeois, just interested in a few things: job, family, a car, a place to live and one holiday per year – that’s it.”

Professor Christian Scholz of the University Saarland has created a “Framework of Darwiportunism”. This framework is used to describe “the possible psychological contracts between companies and employees.”

The framework (shown below) allows for a broad analysis of certain “contracts” however there isn’t one that works better than the other. According to the article it is very dependent on the surrounding environment.

  • “Good Old Time” means low Opportunism and low Darwinism. Employees are loyal and are rewarded by job security.
  • “Kindergarten” can be found, when well educated employees know of their market value and the company only has the chance to fulfill their demands. This contract is characterized by low Darwinism and high Opportunism.
  • “Feudalism” is the opposite extreme. There, companies are in the stronger position. They demand employees’ performance but also reward it.
  • Darwiportunism is the psychological contract in which companies act darwinistic and employees act opportunistic. They just form a shot-term-relationship (for example during a project) in which performance is measured and rewarded by target agreements. For Diversity & Inclusion concepts in high performing companies this is the place to be! At Henkel that means: Pay for performance!

So I ask Generation Y:

-What do you think of the “Die Welt am Sonntag” opinion of our generation?

-Where do you see yourself in the Darwipotunism Framework?

And lastly, -Since, according to the article, it is our decision as to which way we go in the future; where do you see our generation landing in respect to the four areas?

2 Responses to “Generation Y – Where are you?”
  1. hem says:

    Very interesting how a global player like Henkel deals withs the diversity topic. But the solution “pay for performance” seems to be too simple. How you measure performance if there is a conflict. For example if the boss tells you fly to a business meeting on weekend, but there is also an important family event? The psychological contract is an interesting term for analyzing labor relations but its open for different content. “Darwiportunism” ? I don’t believe it!

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