23 November 2015

Keeping Gen Y for the Long Haul

Many industries report a surplus of highly qualified and enthusiastic employees as being available to fill entry level roles, but keeping them in the long term poses a significant challenge. Developing effective strategies for retaining these employees is critical to a business, as high turnover is a burden on a business’ time and training resources and the potential disruption to client relationships can be damaging.

Here’s our top 5 list of motivators to assist your organisation to retain young achievers.

1.  Variety: Exposing young employees to a wide range of tasks, clients and departments within the business can keep interest levels high and subdue a new starter’s fears that they will be pigeon-holed early on their career. Variety can also extend to giving employees opportunities to work on different short and long term projects and with a range of mentors of varying seniority.

2.  Career progression: Graduate programs provide employees with the opportunity to develop a core set of skills for their career, but what happens when those programs come to an end? Some employers find that their graduates are susceptible to being lured away by clients and competitors as they reach the end of their programs. Ensure your business reaps the benefits of its investment in those foundational years by discussing career progression and remuneration with graduates throughout and prior to their program concluding, through such measures as performance development programs.You may even wish to consider extending the program or developing one to follow on from those first few years.

3.  Leadership: Organisations that have inspiring leaders are more likely to retain their employees if they have positive role models to look up to. Senior employees provide a snapshot to juniors of what they can expect to achieve if they settle in for the long haul.

4.  Work life balance: Junior employees can suffer from burn out from long hours in the office. Innovative employers are using technology to create a solution for this by developing internal search engines to identify previous examples of work and automate routine tasks such as form filing. While these types of technological initiatives work for businesses with the financial resources to do so, the effects can be replicated by creating a collaborative environment that promotes sharing of resources. Employers can also let their employees know their social time matters as much as their work does by encouraging employees to appropriately socialise together.

5.  Clear purpose: Longevity in a role is seldom motivated by monetary incentives alone. Employees are likely to stick around for the long haul if they work in an environment where the organisation’s vision, expectations and values are made clear to them and they align with them. Discovering what makes your new recruits get out of bed in the morning and come to work is something that should be done at the interview stage. That said, it’s never to late to work on clarifying what your business’ vision is and it can even work to its advantage to have all of your employees contribute to formation of the vision, expectations and values.

If you’ve been inspired to develop your business’ strategies around recruitment, training and retention, contact the team at PCS today.

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