Put together in partnership with Ashridge Business School, the findings of this report have significant implications for employers and workplace trends.

The findings reveal that the UK’s recent graduates are an academically talented and motivated group with considerable ambition. Yet the research also uncovers a significant level of dissatisfaction among graduates...

What we found

Career expectations

Generation Y graduates are ambitious, strongly motivated by money, status and career advancement, and expect rapid progress in these areas. Managers have a more conservative view of graduates’ pace of progress, which suggests graduates’ high career expectations are a potential cause of dissatisfaction.

Freedom and independence

Graduates value a high degree of freedom and autonomy in the way they carry out work. Managers favour a more balanced blend of freedom and control, and do not always appreciate how important independence is to graduates. As a result, managers risk demotivating graduates with a hands-on management style.

The manager relationship

Graduates want a boss that is more of a coach and friend than a manager in the traditional sense. The research, however, reveals a significant disconnect between graduates and managers over the type of relationship that exists.

Work-life balance

Graduates and managers both value their work-life balance, but managers underestimate its importance to graduates. Despite their high career expectations and ambitions, graduates do not buy in to a long-hours culture in the same way their managers do.

Career compromises

The recession has affected graduates’ careers in a number of ways, with many graduates forced to compromise on the roles they accept. A significant proportion of graduates say they have: taken any job, rather than their ideal job (18%); are working in the right area but not their ideal job (16%), or; are staying in a job they don’t like (12%).

Moving on

Graduates are broadly engaged at work, but this does not translate into a long-term commitment to their employer, with most looking to move on within two years.

Links and resources

You can download the full report or just relevant sections.  ILM has also developed a range of resources around the subject for centres to use in training programmes and presentations.

Additional resources for centres

The report and resources are suitable for learners on all ILM programmes.  However, the focus on motivation, career expectations and attitudes to work make them ideal for the following Level 3 and Level 5 units:

  • Understanding how to motivate to improve performance (Level 3)
  • Understanding performance management (Level 3)
  • Becoming an effective leaders (Level 5)