EMPLOYERS MUST do more to develop Australia’s next generation of leaders, as almost half of Generation Y employees believe their company is not doing a good enough job in preparing them for management and leadership roles.
A recent study of 300 Generation Y workers also found 43 per cent believe reverse age discrimination exists in their workplace and feel that they are taken less seriously or treated unfairly at work because of their age.
“Grooming replacement talent has become an essential strategic element for any organisation’s stability and long-term growth,” said Peter Sheahan, an expert on managing Generation Y in the workplace.
“As more and more baby-boomer managers retire, fewer young professionals will be available to take their places. If companies don’t do more to actively engage and retain their younger talent they will be faced with a potentially massive replacement gap within their management ranks.”
Sheahan, who conducted the study, also found 43 per cent of employed Australians aged between 18 to 28 have no involvement in strategic planning sessions or exposure to the decision making process within their companies.
However, Susannah Maclaren, president of NSW Young Lawyers, says law firms are adapting to the different needs of Generation Y.
Some, for example, allow their solicitors to take time out to travel or work overseas, or finish a masters degree, she said.
Law firms are aware also of the need to keep their Generation Y employees interested and involved in the firm, including exposure to decision making processes, Maclaren said.
“Generation Y, like Generation X, are facing the reality that partnership is not within their immediate reach, and the average age a person is made a partner of a law firm is 40 years old. They need to be reassured that they are not wasting their time in one place and that their ideas are valued.”
Law firms are also keenly aware that clients do not like a high turnover of solicitors, she said.