Softworks Blog

Job fulfilment, not pay, retains Generation Y talent says new report

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Wed, Jan 9, 2013

New research from the iOpener Institute, which analysed responses from over 18,000 professionals, across the UK, Europe, the US, Australia, India, China and Africa has shown the digital generation – Generation Y – values job fulfilment over financial reward

The iOpener analysis shows that Generation Y, the digital cohort born after the early 1980s, are motivated to stay with their employer, and to actively recommend their organization to friends, by the level to which they are fulfilled their job, rather than levels of pay. This new analysis urges management to pay particular attention to employee feelings of engagement, empowerment, purpose and future development if they are to retain and foster young talent in their company.

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Specifically, Generation Y needs to feel that their work has a strong economic or social purpose. They need to feel proud of their organization and the work that it does. Incremental pay increases will not, on their own, motivate and retain Generation Y employees.

Furthermore the report established a relationship between word of mouth recommendation and job fulfilment. Jessica Pryce-Jones, founder director of the iOpener Institute, said that leaders needed to pay attention to employee feelings of engagement, empowerment, purpose and future development if they were to retain and foster young talent in their company.

“Recruiting talent is expensive, so measures which retain younger staff saves hard cash, and avoids expensive business disruption,” she added.

“Positive word-of-mouth recommendations across a Generation Y employee’s social network play a powerful role in attracting talent, and therefore provides employers with a financial advantage.”

The report goes on to recommend the following strategies for retaining and attracting Generation Y talent;

  • Spread the word every time there is a reason to be proud. Do this often and by word of mouth; use stories to create engagement.
  • Build pride within the organization by giving recognition to employees and colleagues. Make it a habit and do it regularly for all types of achievement.
  • Create visibility internally about the impact of the organization’s work and how it benefits others, economically or socially. Link the work that individual Gen Y employees do to that bigger picture.
  • Ensure that Gen Y employees understand the opportunities on offer within the organization. Tell them how challenging and interesting their future opportunities will be. 

Topics: Employee Retention