Effective utilisation of generation Y quantity surveyors

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    In South Africa, 43% of all quantity surveyors are identified as generation Y, born between 1981 and 2000. This highlights the importance of generation Y to the Quantity Surveying (QS) profession, as they are the future upon which the QS profession will build. A lack of knowledge of the differences among generations can easily lead to misunderstandings and conflict in the workplace. QS employers who want to effectively utilise generation Y employees require a sound knowledge and understanding of their attributes and expectations in relation to their job requirements. This study examines the literature on the attributes and expectations as well as the roles and responsibilities of a generation Y quantity surveyor. Suggestions are made as to how QS employers could utilise generation Y more effectively by harnessing their energy and capitalising on their attributes. Initially, 554 published papers, articles and books were generated as references, of which only 68 were purposively selected and extensively reviewed to analyse the key attributes of generation Y as well as to determine the main functions and services rendered by a quantity surveyor. The literature review showed that the key attributes and expectations of generation Y are flexibility; a meaningful job; interesting work; good relationships with supervisors; regular feedback, and career growth opportunities. The literature review also indicated that the service stages offered by a quantity surveyor are inception; concept and viability; design development; documentation and procurement; construction, and close-out. Based on the literature reviewed, generation Y has the potential to be the highest producing workforce in history. QS employers, who practically apply generational knowledge in relation to job requirements, should be able to unlock the potential of generation Y, increase its productivity, and ultimately its profitability. The findings of this article will be of value to employers in the QS profession by expanding their knowledge and understanding of their generation Y employees. Adapting management and leadership strategies according to these findings could lead to higher staff satisfaction, resulting in workforce productivity and increased profitability.