Money alone isn’t enough to attract and hold on to Gen Y employees

Gen YThe retention of Gen Y employees is key for all organisations. No organisation wants to invest in their next generation of management only to find that they leave, and someone new needs to be trained. But the 20-30 year old workers of Gen Y exhibit a new-found job mobility. Which makes for a ticking time-bomb of potential cost and disruption to their employers. The iOpener Institute has gathered and studied questionnaire responses from over 30,000 professionals across the world, gaining insights into how employers can retain their Gen Y talent. The research clearly shows that while pay and financial rewards are important to Gen Y (i.e. they are not prepared to be under-paid for their work), there is no significant correlation between increased levels of pay and greater talent retention.

But the research points to the importance of job fulfilment to Gen Y, showing a strong correlation between job fulfilment and the likelihood of quitting. Statistically speaking, Gen Y employees who feel most fulfilled in their jobs are 60% more likely to stay in the role than those who feel least fulfilled. Gen Y is simply not prepared to stay in jobs that make them unhappy.

It is also worth noting a strong alignment between job fulfilment and feeling that you are doing something worthwhile. So raising awareness of the positive impact an organization’s products, services and culture have on the world is paramount. And helping Gen Y workers see how they contribute to that as an individual will help retain them in an organization.

Gen Y also needs to believe in their employer’s strategy. iOpener’s research shows that Gen Y-ers who have the most trust in the vision of their organization’s leaders have 57% less intention to quit than those who have the least trust.. This highlights the need to regularly and convincingly communicate key points of corporate strategy.

As digital natives, Gen Y workers are heavily influenced by a company’s reputation online and on social media. More than other age groups, Gen Y turns to these channels to find out about job opportunities and learn about the companies that offer them. So spreading the word about high levels of job fulfilment and enjoyable working culture online will help to attract Gen Y talent.

Companies should build pride by giving recognition to employees and colleagues, and ensuring that they spread good news. Creating internal visibility of the impact and benefits of the organisation’s work is also key. And this visibility taps into the civic-mindedness that typifies Gen Y. Ultimately though, organisations must ensure that Generation Y understand the opportunities on offer, enabling them to see a path of progression and job fulfilment.


JPJ headshot picJessica Pryce- Jones is joint founder and partner of the iOpener institute for People & Performance which offers a range of solutions to help organisations maximize workforce performance, productivity and happiness of business-critical employees.