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Generation Y Employees: An Examination of Work Attitude Differences


The primary objective of this paper is to elucidate some of the more specific differences managers can expect from Generation Y (Gen Y) as employees in the hospitality workplace


Key findings:

A key finding from the data analysis is that Gen Y employees score lower on those measures where higher scores are seen more favourably (e.g., job satisfaction, engagement, commitment).
Conversely, Gen Y employees display higher scores on the constructs that an organization would hope would be lower (e.g., turnover intentions).
The paper concludes with eight specific workplace practice suggestions to managers regarding Gen Y:

  1. Hiring decisions should focus on fit with the organisation and its values, which are vital to this group.
  2. Employee engagement and integration into decision making is more important to Gen Y than past generations of workers.
  3. Gen Y are hungry for learning and growth opportunities, and see jobs more than just income generators. Whilst they don’t stay at one place very long, professional growth opportunities can enhance retention.
  4. It is important to embrace technology particularly in relation to communications with staff (eg. pushing messages to mobile devices rather than ‘newsletters’).
  5. As Gen Y crave recognition, rethinking staff reward and recognition is suggested.
  6. Challenge old paradigms about workplace flexibility.
  7. Use Gen Y to help mentor older workers about technology and modern communication (reverse mentoring)

Implications for Practice

Strategies for managing employees must be tailored to suit the employee, not the preferences of the manager.
The businesses that succeed in the ever more competitive hospitality environment will be steered by people with open minds, people with the energy and drive to satisfy the variety of workplace demands made by today's Gen Y employees.
Successful hospitality leaders and managers will be those constantly monitoring the changing attitudes of successive generations of their workers.


Publication details:


Publication Title:



Generation Y Employees: An Examination of Work Attitude Differences.

Full Publication Reference:

The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 17 3: 36-54.

Publication Author or Authors:

David Solnet, Anna Kraji and Jay Kandampully

Proposed by:


Brent Ritchie


07 3346 7308



Associate Professor


University of Queensland