Generation Y is the most educated, entertained and materially endowed generation in history, and they have been shaped in a very different era to that of the Xers, Boomers and Builders that have gone before them.
Therefore, for managers to attract, recruit, retain and train them, they must first understand them- and indeed all the generations at work.
The global outlook of Generation Y and their desire to travel, fused with their focus on lifestyle and priority focus on work-life balance give insights into how managers can best engage with them. Remuneration remains a key factor in the equation, but it is just one of many retention factors, and by no means the primary one.
GETTING REMUNERATION RIGHT: A CRITICAL ISSUE
Even in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, the attraction and retention of good staff is still a key issue and a growing one as we face growing labour demand in a recovering economy and declining labour supply with an ageing demography.
The ageing of populations and with that, workforces is a challenge across many developed countries. The median age in Japan, Germany and Italy is 44; in France and the UK it is around 40, and in Australia and the United States it is hovering around 37. In Australia we are approaching the point of “peak labour” - where there will be more full time employees retiring from the workforce than there will be younger people entering it. Indeed Australia’s population is growing by more than 300,000 per annum however the increase in the working age population is less than half of this.
Therefore filling skills shortages, ensuring talent recruitment is taking place, dealing with leadership succession, and developing young staff are all essential functions for managers wishing to “future proof” their businesses.
Adding to this strain of attracting employees are the retention challenges faced by many employers, with Generation Y leading the revolution of job churning and career changing. In Australia, our annual turnover rate of 15 per cent per annum means that the medium length of time people stay in their roles is three years and four months. If this trend continues throughout the worklife of Generation Y, they will have 17 different employers and five separate careers during their lifetime (that’s allowing for Gen Y workers entering the workforce at 19-20 and finishing work at 79-80 years of age).