Generation Y, which is defined as those people currently aged between 18 and 29, is commonly credited with introducing collaborative technologies, such as social networking, into the workplace. Indeed many vendors claim that adopting such technologies is the key to attracting and retaining skilled younger workers.
But a Forrester Research study of 2,000 employees at large companies in the US found that ‘Gen Y’ workers do not stand out in their use of collaborative technologies, choosing instead “to work within their roles and corporate hierarchy”.
In fact, when it came to use of social media tools, from blogs to podcasts, Gen Y were no more active users than their immediate elders in Generation X: “Gen Yers’ use of collaboration technology is secondary to the business culture,” the report stated.
If anything, Gen Y employees proved more competitive than collaborative: 22% said they compete with colleagues, far ahead of their older counterparts, “which suggests that some in this group, coming of age during a time of layoffs and globalisation, see that they are in a race to prove their worth to the business or lose their job,” the report said.