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Explain the special attributes of the generation Y (Gen Y) workforce and why managers may need to provide particular attention to these attributes. Discuss the four ways to shape behaviour, and how a manager might use these to promote learning amongst a GEN Y staff cohort to ensure a productive work environment. Use illustrations and credible research to support your points of discussion.

You must also include:

  • Define and explain generation Y
  • Description of generation Y individuals (ambition, flexible, good of social networking, highly skilled and employed behaviour)
  • Four ways to shape behaviour such as positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction and including the examples as well.

Introduction to Generation Y

Generation Y is defined as particular generation born between 1980s and 1990s. The term Y generation is given after proceeding Generation X. Generation Y is the fastest growing generation and they are emerging as business leaders, team managers, and HR advisors. Generation Y people are also known as echo bloomers because they are born branch of baby boomers (Benson, and Brown, 2011).

The Y generation is also known as internet generation or net generation. These people are more family-oriented and are willing to sacrifice their career advancement for better lifestyle and balanced work life. As a demographic generation, this generation has the fastest growing leaders. They interrogate about what organization demands from Y generation people, what career opportunity they have on the part of organization. They always wish to take responsibility and prove themselves. They strive more for respect rather than money (Dawn and Thomas, 2013).

They do not rely on one job and do not hesitate before leaving job if they are not satisfied and happy. They work in an organization which is innovative, creative, environment friendly, and energetic. They work hard to make progress to achieve success in the stages of their life. The beginning of millennial generation interacted with the development of technology. The critical factor for understanding a generation is more a realization of social perspectives, morals and values in the given period rather than fixing and staging on a point. The impact of technologies is very significant in shaping the interaction of people (Dulger et al., 2014).

For example- Generation Y people ignores traditional advertising such as magazine and TV ads. The people of this generation have personalized communication on the channels and various devices. The challenge is not limited to figuring out the purchasing behavior of this generation. The brands focus on figuring out and adjusting generation’s values with shortened attention spans. The population of generation Y is much larger than generation X. Generation Y is a gold mine and target for consumer marketing groups. If the brand knows the traits of the generation, it becomes easier to find an effective marketing strategies for well-educated, socially responsible, honest, ethical, surprising, and direct customers of generation Y. For example- The dollar shave club is a renowned example that markets and focuses on Generation Y by incorporating humor and plain language in the YouTube ad. Millennial follow influencers because of common values and interests. Millennial expects real time conversing and engaging on social media to build trust. Brands should focus on using social media as a medium to encourage two-ways conversations (Freymond et al., 2014).          

In comparison to the people of Generation X, members of Generation Y are technologically intelligent due to growing of information age and are usual and prone to use media. Generation Y people grow with technology. The people in this generation use smart phones, tabs, laptops and various electronic gadget. People like to communicate through text messaging, email, and different media platforms. This generation cannot imagine a world without internet and technology (Twenge, 2010).

Special attributes of Generation Y

Y Generation people are highly skilled and ambitious. Expectation are needed to be managed as Generation Y members are very confident to take important roles and responsibilities in the organization. Young entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerburg, Pavel Durov, Michael litt, Patrick and John Collison believe that there are no limits to what they want to achieve. Organization faces difficulties in managing the expectations without restricting the creativity and development. Businesses strive to take strategic steps for distributing resources to see development and growth to keep the people happy. Generation Y people do have high expectations and want others to match them (Gardiner, Grace, and King, 2015).

Teamwork is high in the plan of Generation Y. Working as a team and collaborating with regular team meeting is preferred by the members. They expect transparency, accountability and friendliness from both management and colleagues.

Employee behavior and communication pattern is the key for generation Y but it has to be on right terms. Communicating through emails and Facebook messages will get faster response as compared to phone calls. It is not very convenient to pick calls everywhere even on the workplace. Generation Y prefer to communicate through email within the workplace (Kelder, Hoelscher, and Perry, 2015).

Constant feedback and relying on someone else to whether they are doing their work well are the common traits of Generation Y. Earlier, this level of communication was not very popular especially with senior management. Companies have started to develop and implement schemes which will guide and develop the younger generation in their careers. Delegating a level of guidance and assurance is important to nurture a generation. Generation Y wants and appreciates companies which have less administration pressures. People of this generation wants personal development and growth opportunities and expects direct and clear feedback. These people are socially minded, creative and active. They want to work in such an environment which is flexible and friendly. This flexibility does not necessarily mean that they want a squash in their break room. However, they seek to find a balance environment where they allow employees to feel comfortable and collaborate freely. 

The four ways to shape and affect the behavior such as positive reinforcement, punishment, negative reinforcement, and extinction are as follows

Positive reinforcement- Operant conditioning is a learning condition which depends on the consequences of the behavior. Positive reinforcement improves and increases a pleasant stimulus by which the behavior is strengthened. For example- giving an employee or student a prize after he/she attains the target. Positive makes the person feels better due to positive relationship with the person who is providing reinforcement. Reward is a positive reinforce. If the behavior of the employees improve through reward, then reward can be a source to enhance and stimulate positive reinforcement (Managementstudyguide, 2018). 

Negative reinforcement- Negative reinforcement reduces or removes unpleasant stimulus. For example- taking away the resources after the employee crosses the limitation. In negative reinforcement, a response is strengthened by removing and avoiding a negative result or adverse stimuli. Negative stimuli is likely to create discomfort either in the form of physical or psychology. Example- Deciding to intake an antacid before indulging in spicy meal. Negative reinforcement is very much effective for growing and changing habits (Wei, and Yazdanifard, 2014).    

Marketing to Generation Y

Punishment- Punishment adds unpleasant stimulus. For example- enforcing overtime or giving extra homework after he/she misbehaves in the organization with the senior manager or colleagues. Punishment majorly creates temporary changes in behavior because it is more based on coercion and creates a adverse relationship with the person who makes reinforces (Young et al., 2013).

Extinction- Extinction refers to reinforcement provided for problem behavior. So that the problem behavior is eliminated or decreased. Extinction is commonly used in children with autism. It is used to address the problem of behavior related to development disabilities. For example- A child tries to seek attention of her/his mom by dropping the toy on another floor. If mom picks the toy and returns back, the child may act the same way. To resolve the problem, when child drops the toy and mother ignores the toy constantly. There is a high possibility that child will reduce dropping the toy and the behavior improves. Another form of the process is extinction on behavior forced by negative reinforcement. Extinction does not involve reinforcements. Moreover, it implies reducing the probability of undesirable behavior. For example- if employee do not receive admiration or appreciation for his work, he may feel that his behavior is not generating fruitful results. Unintentionally or indirectly, extinction lowers desirable behavior (Zemke, Raines, and Filipczak, 2013).     

References

Benson, J. and Brown, M. (2011) Generations at work: Are there differences and do they matter? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(9), pp. 1843–1865.

Dawn B. V. and Thomas L. (2013) Generation Y values and lifestyle segments. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 30(7), pp.597-606.

Dulger, M., Alpay, G., Yilmaz, C., and Bodur, M. (2014) How do learning orientation and strategy yield Innovativeness and superior firm performance? South African Journal of Business Management, 45(2), pp. 35-50.

Freymond, S. B., Briefer, E. F., Zollinger, A., Allmen, Y. G., Wyss, C. and Bachmann, I. (2014) Behaviour of horses in a judgment bias test associated with positive or negative reinforcement. Applied animal behaviour science, 158, pp.34-45.

Gardiner, S., Grace, D. and King, C. (2015) Is the Australian domestic holiday a thing of the past? Understanding baby boomer, Generation X and Generation Y perceptions and attitude to domestic and international holidays. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 21(4), pp.336-350.

Kelder, S.H., Hoelscher, D. and Perry, C.L. (2015) how individuals, environments, and health behaviors interact. Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice, 159(1).

Managementstudyguide, (2018) Reinforcement Theory of Motivation. [online] Available at: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/reinforcement-theory-motivation.htm [Accessed 13/08/18].

Twenge, J. M. (2010) A review of the empirical evidence on generational differences in work attitudes. Journal of Business & Psychology, 25, pp. 201–210.

Wei, L. T. and Yazdanifard, R. (2014) the impact of Positive Reinforcement on Employees' Performance in Organizations. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 4(1), p.9.

Young, S. J., Sturts, J. R., Ross, C. M. and Kim, K. T. (2013) Generational differences and job satisfaction in leisure services. Managing Leisure, 18(2), pp. 152–170.

Zemke, R., Raines, C. and Filipczak, B. (2013) Generations at work (2nd ed.). New York: AMACOM.

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