There’s little love lost between ‘spoilt’ Celtic Tiger cubs and baby-boomer bosses, writes Gabrielle Monaghan

… Bill Cullen, the businessman who starred in The Apprentice on TV3 described this generation as lazy and mollycoddled …

… Rowan Manahan, the MD of Fortify Services, a human resources firm, comes across this supposition from older generations all the time. “From my conversations with managers, the worst characteristic of Generation Y is ‘trained helplessness.’ Celtic Tiger parents supposedly had the attitude that, no matter what happened to their children, they would be there to bail them out. For a previous generation of Irish parents, the attitude was, ‘You’re 18. Leave home or pay me rent.’

But in the workplace, daddy is not going to come and fix things. I recently had a conversation with our (Fortify’s) consulting psychologist who, throughout the past decade, was inundated with parents asking for their children’s abilities to be tested as they thought the results would be spectacular. Their was a lot of disappointment when most turned out to be … average. Most of us are average at most things.”

… They are not as loyal to companies as Generation X (born between 1965-79), nor do they expect employers to show any commitment to them. The latter is a trait that older generations could learn from, Manahan says. “They are the first generation to understand and internalise that corporations don’t give a damn whether employees live or die. I have heard from hundreds of young clients about how they have seen their parents being let go or treated badly, and they are recognising that there is no covenant between the employer and the employee.

They regard themselves as leasing out their skills and brains to the highest bidder. I think companies are frustrated by this upstart behaviour, but if you look at it in the cold light of day, it’s understandable.”

Extracted from The Sunday Times, Business Section, 10 June, 2012.