What Makes Our Next Generation Tick?

What it will take for companies to attract and retain their next-gen workforce?

What makes our next generation tick? Their hearts and minds seem to be focused on something other than building a single capability and establishing a career with a single company. This can be exasperating for some Boomer and Gen X leaders who interpret the next generation as inconstant and unreliable. If you talk directly to young people and read what generational experts say, you’ll find a different story. The next generation may think differently about careers than the current workforce, but they are still focused on developing successful careers.

Different Generations

So why all the differences between the different generations? The answer is not simply that each generation thinks differently; it’s a bit more complex than that. Here in the U.S., we have a physical gap in ages in our workforce. The Boomer generation, America’s largest workforce (84 million), will be nearly gone by 2035. That’s only 15 more years.

Companies that have waited until now to address this issue may feel forced to “jump through hoops” to try to attract and retain a new workforce—bringing in recreation rooms, latte machines, and collaboration spaces in the hope that this is what the next generation wants. We believe, and most experts confirm, these measures are not motivating our next generation to join your company, let alone stay there long term.

How to Attract Gen Y Employees

Each generation is motivated in different ways when it comes to their careers and what they would like to achieve. Workforce experts talking with our current generational workforce have gathered great insights to help us solve the issue of attracting employees from our next generation. Deloitte Insights has run global surveys each year of Gen Y since 2013 (and has recently started adding in Gen Z data). The top three items Gen Y looks for when shopping for a new job are:

  • What is the job paying?
  • What type of workplace culture does the company have? (Are they ‘just’ making money or do they work to improve/help society at large?)
  • Does the job have flexibility? (Think beyond daily hours to policies about discretionary time off and the option for unpaid leave.)

How to Keep Gen Y Employees

Deloitte shows that Gen Y employees leave a job on average every 18-24 months. In other words, not long after they show they have the skill and ability for the job to work unsupervised, they may leave! Here are the top three things Gen Y employees say about why they leave a company:

  • Their boss (Consider some real investment into future leaders; they are the company to the next generation.)
  • A lack of engagement by their leader and a lack of training/coaching to improve their skillset long term.
  • Split between no real flexibility in the work schedule and no true ‘cause’ to inspire/motivate them (beyond just getting a paycheck)

Gen Y employees generally appreciate development opportunities and value clear time off policies to create a better work-life balance.

What You Can Do Now

Are you looking for ways to attract and retain successful next generation professionals? We can provide you resources that will help your company to do just that. Let’s talk about your company’s successes and how we can help you develop and maintain a work culture that attracts next generation employees.

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