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Young workers unprepared to deal with office politics, research finds

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Generation Y is unprepared for office politics upon starting their first job, research has found; in fact 54% of young people feel that they’re neither ready to face nor well informed enough about politics in the workplace, according to a new study by the Co-Op.

Findings suggest that young people may find it harder to express their opinions and ideas in the workplace, which results in them feeling isolated and unsupported.

Julian Sykes, the Director of Organisational Effectiveness at the Co-Op, believes that some changes to culture and procedures might help Gen Y overcome the impediment of office politics:

“It is vital a business creates a positive working environment for young people. Education, training and the desire to do well are top of the list when it comes to Generation Y succeeding in the workplace.

“Office politics saps workplace productivity – businesses should address its root causes, freeing up time to take on, train and motivate the next generation.”

However, young people do appear to feel more equipped in other essential office skills. For example, 76% felt that they were prepared for the hours they needed to work, and 77% thought that they had the time management abilities needed to meet employer’s demands.

More than half said that they were keen to learn new skills and stay informed regarding career development opportunities, and 69% said that were comfortable and confident in dealing with their superiors.

Regarding these figures, Sykes says:

“This shows young people are prepared to work hard and feel they have the right time management skills in place to progress. Being keen to take on career development opportunities is critical for long term career progression also.” 

This is all part of the Co-Op’s initiative to support and encourage young people in the workplace by observing what motivates 16-25 year olds in work. They will be campaigning for Generation Y in the workplace as part of their plans to get more young people involved in its businesses.

“We think that by combining an open culture with young, energetic and creative new entrants, employers have a chance to reduce office politics and its impact on workplace productivity – creating a positive and enjoyable working environment for all,” says Sykes.




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