Job fulfilment, not pay, motivates Generation Y talent


Today’s 20-to-30-something workforce, representing the management class of the future, values job fulfilment over financial reward, according to research by the iOpener Institute, which analysed responses from over 18,000 professionals. The study shows that Generation Y, the digital cohort born after the early 1980s, are motivated to stay with their employer, and to actively recommend their organisation to friends, by the level to which they are fulfilled in their job, rather than their levels of pay.

This suggests management needs to pay more attention to employee feelings of engagement, empowerment, purpose and future development if they are to retain and foster young talent in their company. Specifically, Generation Y needs to feel their work has a strong economic or social purpose. This need to feel proud of their organization and the work that it does means incremental pay increases will not, on their own, motivate and retain Generation Y employees.

The research also found that positive word-of-mouth recommendations across an employee’s social network play a powerful role in attracting talent, providing employers with hard financial advantage.