Gen Ys Beyond Their Years

Since returning from the annual Mid America CropLife Asso­cia­tion meeting, I’m thinking about the generational divide. At the event, one of the major topics of discussion centered on Generation Y (born between 1978 and 1995) and how this growing segment of the workforce could shape society forward.

Now, as a member of the Baby Boom­er generation (born between 1946 and 1964), I have an admittedly dim understanding of what makes Generation Y click.

And I’m apparently not alone. Steve Drake, owner of Drake & Co., a cause-related marketing firm, said Baby Boomers tend to think of Generation Y individuals as “feeling entitled, with poor work ethics and lost without technology at their fingertips.” On the flipside, Generation Yers view Baby Boomers as “not tech savvy or fully engaged.”

Of course, generational divides are nothing new. Consider the following: “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age.”

Think this quote was made by a member of the Greatest Generation talking about Baby Boomers? Actually, it dates back to the 12th century and was made by Peter the Hermit.

Generational divide or not, the nation’s employers need to begin learning more about Generation Y in the workplace because their time is rapidly approaching. According to Drake, this generation currently represents only 12% of the U.S. workforce, vs. 44% for Baby Boomers and 34% for Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1977). However, many Baby Boomers will start retiring between 2012 and 2019, opening the door for succeeding generations to step in.

“Fifty percent of the largest employers will lose 50% of their senior managers within the next five to 10 years,” said Drake. “Boomer retirement will lead to an all-out war for talent.”

With the majority of its managers and company heads as members of the Baby Boom generation, agriculture can also be expected to be impacted by this worker exodus. According to Eric Spell, president of AgCareers.com, Generation Y workers are different from their Baby Boomer counterparts in several ways, including wanting to be global collaborators, expecting constant contact with their managers and working to co-create and solve real business issues. “Executing tasks or parts of a system will frustrate them greatly,” said Spell.

Generation Y workers are also different in their views on the workplace itself. With technology, they view work as “from anywhere, not fixed.” Likewise, they tend to “work to live” rather than “live to work” like Baby Boomers. According to Jason Lehnst, project manager for agriculture for Management Recruiters of Iowa City, this means employers need to consider shorter talent-mining time frames.

“Accept that most Generation Y employees will not retire with their current employer,” said Lehnst. “Find the best way to utilize their talent while you have it.”

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Crop InputsBayer To Contest EPA Flubendiamide Decision
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by EPA to voluntarily cancel the uses Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechNot So Fast: ChemChina Syngenta Takeover Could Draw Nat…
February 5, 2016
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), which plans to buy Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta, will promptly start preparations Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechExpansion Of Syngenta’s North America Seedcare In…
February 4, 2016
As demand for seed treatment knowledge and products grows among farmers, retailers and others in the seed industry, Syngenta is Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Strengthens Sales Team
February 4, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced three new personnel additions: Jake Cook and Peter White are Territory Sales Managers for Read More
Davor Pisk Syngenta COO
Crop InputsSyngenta COO: Why ChemChina Offer Beat Monsanto’s
February 4, 2016
Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk says he is confident the proposed acquisition by ChemChina will ultimately help preserve choice Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsKoch Biological Solutions Invests In Pathway Biologic
February 4, 2016
An affiliate of Koch Biological Solutions, LLC has acquired a minority equity position in, and entered into collaboration with, Pathway Read More
Crop InputsABG: China Signs Off On Monsanto’s Roundup Ready …
February 3, 2016
Monsanto Co. on Wednesday announced it plans to launch its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in time for the 2016 Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop Inputs6 Things To Know About The ChemChina-Syngenta Deal
February 3, 2016
After months of rumors and speculation, Syngenta has announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the Swiss-based company. “In making Read More
FertilizerPhosphorus: Is Band Or Broadcast Application The Better…
February 3, 2016
Is band or broadcast application the better method when it comes to phosphorus? The answer to this question depends mostly Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina Nearing Deal To Buy Syngenta For Record $43 B…
February 3, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. is nearing an agreement to buy Swiss pesticide-and-seeds-maker Syngenta AG for about 43.7 billion francs ($42.8 Read More
Herbicides2015 ASA Trials Demonstrate Valent Fierce XLT Herbicide…
February 2, 2016
Valent U.S.A. today announced that new Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide ranks in the top tier among growers for length of Read More
Crop Protection Products in storage
Paul SchrimpfCrop Input Selling: Return Of The Price List
February 2, 2016
It was a good 15 years ago, shortly after I first started writing for this esteemed publication, that it all Read More
Potash storage at Growmark
FertilizerThe Phosphate And Potash Outlook For 2016
February 2, 2016
Like other commodities, prices of the leading plant nutrient products dropped sharply in 2015. At this writing, the price of Read More