Long-held beliefs that Generation Y is self-absorbed, disloyal and impatient are a myth, according to a report published this month by the Chartered Management Institute.

The study explores the aspirations, working styles and motivations of today's younger managers in the health sector. It finds that these workers are focused on long-term skills development to boost their career options.

Chartered Management Institute marketing and corporate affairs director Jo Causon says: "Generation Y has been dismissed as self-centred, yet the evidence shows this is not the case. Overall, there is a strong desire to develop at work and enjoy their job, with inability to progress a strong negative for them. Yet, at the same time, busy individuals working long hours can quickly become demotivated and leave. In an era where skills are at a premium, organisations need to be aware of this and act before it becomes reality."

Key qualities

  • Selfless, not selfish: far from the stereotypical view of Generation Y as self-indulgent, younger managers in the health sector are driven by ethics and a sense of purpose. Only 13 per cent said they would quit their job tomorrow if they won the lottery. Ninety-three per cent said they wanted to work for an organisation that does something they believe in and 68 per cent said they would only work for organisations with strong values.

  • Committed to the cause: debunking the myth that Generation Y lacks commitment, the report shows that 68 per cent of respondents in the health sector have been in their current job for three years or more and only 2 per cent strongly agreed with the statement "there's no point being excessively loyal to an organisation". Two-fifths (41 per cent) said they work in the evenings, if necessary; 36 per cent work at weekends; and 22 per cent use travel time for working.

  • Long-term career planning: the idea that Generation Y is less committed to career planning has also been shattered by the study. Asked why they joined their current employer, many in the health sector (71 per cent) focused on the long-term career opportunities available. Seventy-one per cent said they had a personal development plan in place and 69 per cent said they know what they need to achieve their ambitions.

Further analysis of the research shows today's younger managers in the health sector believe their future success depends on skills development. Asked what attracts them to job opportunities, just 21 per cent said pay is very important. Most (78 per cent) said they are attracted to employers offering training and development and 87 per cent said the "challenge of work" is a key factor influencing their choice of job.

An executive summary of Generation Y: unlocking the talent of young managers is available at www.managers.org.uk