Generation Y drives global mobility

Generation Y will increasingly influence employers’ global mobility strategies, which they must adapt to suit young employees’ differing mindsets and expectations.

Speaking in a session titled ‘Consistency, transparency and flexibility in today’s approach to global mobility’ at the Employee Benefits Summit in Alicante, Spain, on 26 June, Tim Wells (pictured), former group global mobility manager at Britvic Soft Drinks, said that Generation Y staff have a much more global mindset and outlook than previous generations. This is demonstrated by the fact that 93% of young professionals expect to live and work abroad during their careers.

However, Generations Y-ers typically have much different reasons for looking for global assignments than previous generations, said Wells. Unlike Generation X and the Baby Boomers, Generation Y’s primary motivations are career development and the opportunity to gain overseas experience, rather than financial rewards.

“It is going to see a new approach to doing business globally,” said Wells. “Generation Y has very different needs. I think employers will start to recognise that and adapt and change policies and practices accordingly.”

When adapting global mobility policies, items valued by Generation Y must be a key consideration for employers, said Wells. These include flexibility in working hours, technology, their social life and the social aspect of work.

For example, 91% of Generation Y-ers prefer to research and book travel online, which also extends to relocation, said Wells. To accommodate this, employers need to adopt consumer practices, for example, by allowing staff to research and book aspects of their relocation within a set budget.