Gen Y at Work: Rewarding the Global Generation

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gen Y at work: Rewarding the global generation | Blog | Australian Communities ForumGeneration Y is the most educated, entertained and materially endowed generation in history, with a novel perspective on work that makes attracting, engaging and training them a challenge for employers to get right. High turnover rates among the emerging generations have posed questions around remuneration and how much is right to engage this flighty cohort.

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). In this climate, it’s not only the recruitment and retention that is important, but also re-recruitment. Keeping in contact with departing talented workers has proved very useful for many managers who have been able to re-employ members of this boomerang generation.

Attracting the new generations

Generation Y don’t seek a job as much as they seek an opportunity. They have multiple expectations of an organisation. It isn’t just the job description, but the workplace culture, the variety, fun, training, management style, and flexibility that drives them. In light of this, it is not enough to focus only on financial benefits as a tool of attraction and retention.

We have conducted many studies of young job seekers, we have surveyed thousands of working Australians and conducted dozens of focus groups and interviews with Generation Y investigating the employment factors which attract and retain them and the results of the different studies concur: the size of the employer and or the recognition of the employer brand did not define an employer of choice but rather the job opportunity and challenge, varied role and career pathway, workplace culture, lifestyle benefits, management style, and work-life balance. These were factors often offered by small employers and non-profit organisations, not just larger corporates. Interestingly, salary alone wasn’t the main drawcard, and out of the many interviews remuneration was mentioned less than these non-monetary factors and rewards.

Moving past traditional incentives: retaining Generation Y

Generation Y has grown up in a world where everything is incentivised. Customer loyalty is bought with frequent buyer programs, points, or discounts. And accordingly, so is employee loyalty. By understanding and meeting their needs, motivating through relevant reward and recognition strategies, better retention can be achieved.

Flexibility to study, travel and achieve work-life balance is a basic expectation of new job seekers.

Flexibility to study

Generation Y is the most formally educated generation in history – a title they are set to keep long term with many predicted to return to formal study multiple times in their lifetime. Indeed, the 21st century life is rarely linear and sequential. Life stages were once clearly defined, starting with education, followed by work and perhaps after a career change or two, retirement. Today, the education phase extends well into adulthood, and throughout the work life. The multiple career paths taken by Generation Y will lead them to retrain several times, with an increasing likelihood to take their careers overseas. Flexibility to study is therefore crucial for this cohort.

Flexibility to travel

Generation Y | Rewarding the Global Generation | Flexibility to travel | Australian Communities ForumHaving grown up in culturally diverse landscape, where 1 in 4 Australians were overseas-born, it is no surprise that Generation Y is globally connected. New technology and social media allows them to network with friends around the globe, while cheap travel allows them to travel overseas not just interstate.

With a focus on lifestyle rather than just wealth accrual, Generation Y is spending more time living at home, delaying some of the traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as buying their first home, marrying, or starting a family. Nearly 1 in 4 Australians (23%) aged between 20-34 continue to live in the parental home. Of these, nearly half have moved out and returned again with most (52%) lasting less than two years before returning home. For the majority of these, their decision to move back in is often financially motivated.

Flexibility and work life balance

Workers today look to have multiple needs met at work. Of course, working is about achieving task outcomes and receiving financial rewards, but for Gen Y it is also about fun, social connection, training, personal development, greater fulfilment and even environmental sustainability. A job for Gen Y is more than just delivering a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. They have an expectation that it will also help them achieve social, training, and lifestyle goals as well.

Gen Y employees need to feel that their jobs are equipping them for the future, that they are being invested in and valued. The increase in workplace ping pong tables, lunchrooms equipped with coffee machines and sandwich makers, and work meetings held in the local cafe highlight the recognition of staff wellbeing, team engagement and activity-based working in achieving better retention and commitment. The favour is likely to be returned as well – with the advent of technology Generation Y is likely to be found checking their work emails frequently out of hours, as well as working on the weekends as well.

It is self evident that every business, team and brand is just one generation away from extinction. Only by recruiting and engaging with the next generation of employees will we maintain an innovative outlook, a relevant workplace culture and a future proof organisation. Oh, and it will probably be a dynamic and fun place to work too.

Post by social researcher Mark McCrindle.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


paying to work trends of 2017 earnings friendship live the dream demographer toys World Water Day business social impact careers define annual income mobile cartodb community Australians Australian Trends snapshot breakfast ease of travel faux-cilising sun poker master emerging generations 2020 organisations baby boomers cash deloitte baby name trends prince george ACT Report office opening in depth interviews commute rise of local domestic social analysis research data entertainment ultimo pharmacies population young people debt optimistic Wellington NBRS Architecture school financial future the australian dream Res Vis rain student dare to dream 2012 future Australian Communities Trends micro apartments office brand jobs households social shifts hunger data visualisation vegetarian easy rider employmer blaxland mother's day brisbane generation Z urban taskforce university degree contiki crime newspaper infographics event woolworths learner social trends economic social enquiry Word Up buildings family food Royals australian social research Sydney national crime rates Financial Planning Association wealth goal celebration property market new york times Financial Planning Week Melbourne career list Australia street daily telegraph financial media commentary charities wealth inequality Scouts VET sector growing population video generational trends research wage sunny days eliane forum sydneycity the hills faith SMART Hornsby Shire Council personal growth ageing national wealth safe February 16 product society trends builders travelling Australian Bureau of Statistics customer marriage financial fears growth alpha moderators guide medicine authenticity earn futurist employers presentations ideas australian communities forum entrepreneur housing trends Australia Day mythbusting brand experience shbc hobart Do It Yourself data analyst sector wide study group TED winter visual data balance summer teach public speaking workplace dreaming mover and shaker coffee Australian Census intern quote mccrindle tea Wagga Wagga going out supply and demand education research employment Merry Christmas Channel 7 future-proof publication media release stay home challenge Australia Day 2017 Financial Planning Association of Australia leadership chairty 1975 national private wealth greatness year 12 school satisfaction Love VET Generation X HSC community event holidays unaffordable church PSI millionth potts point sustainable learning australians staying home more technology future of work Gen Y staying in sunburnt country perth speakers pack Christchurch students victoria media cooking mythbusters Population Clock English average Australian owning a home baby boom consumerism families cultural diversity youth responsive christmas fresh Australian communities shopping online shopping trend digital workshop society huffington post collaboration emerging trends #censusfail Myth Caregiver socialites Bathburst NBRS Adelaide food insecurity Northern Beaches Christian School Assistant Store Manager geomapping market research community engagement etiquette 1980 happiness debate shopping centre Australian Families overcast spend priorities urban relational 2015 sydney event future proof life Australian Dream speajer language weekly earnings FPA cancelling event DIY Queensland baby names relevant dessert screenage waverton engage economy Aussies cancelling plans social issues TEDx states royal baby house housing affordability living selfie sector real storytelling rising house prices Wodonga gig australian volunteer new office communicate car in the media story New Zeland gen z volunteers the hills shire christian care support logan DESTEL census New Zealand Sydney Hills Business Chamber thought leadership trend tuesday environment bondi property social researchers forecasting trades 24,000,000 experience future of shopping infographic pyrmont sentiments socialising acf15 tea generation alpha future proofing demographic transformations business performance James Ward earning census 2016 program finance budget grave decision demography Kirsten Brewer insights Real Estate capital city professional presenters report ACF2017 Tuesday Trends high density apartments conference presentation 2013 speakers high school religion sydney metro wealth and income distribution omnibus area plans sydneysiders darwin average sydneysider online royal hornsby twentyseventeen giving shifts REIV Conference anzac curiosity NEETs global financial crisis winter blues household facts population map Sydney keynote speaker friends training rent social lives cost professional development capital cities sydney speaker study affordable retirement names Jura Australia cost of living casual events showreel internships Research Executive monarchy aussie culture research on coffee donation educated baby name insight not for profit research leader housing growth manly repayments census data property price changing face of sydney seasons follow not-for-profit trends of 2016 kate middleton suburb McCridle financial dreams cultural diveristy demographic Australian demographics divorce rate The ABC of XYZ home ownership wellbeing daily commute 2016 census father's day low density Jura Coffee education choice workers train unemployment employmee narcissism baby ACT Channel Seven Queensland: QLD ashley mckenzie Kiwi FOMO qualitative research volunteering REIV National Conference neutral bay collaborative bureau village mentor researcher skills TDE award winner rich public holiday gender What is food insecurity? home owner nfp investor hello fresh holiday optus award slideshare conferences Skilling year 7 South Australia research services the lucky country identity professional poor IT Specialists sydneysider income Christmas lunch 1994 survey Australian community trends social researcher child care EFF house price 2016 census results purpose wealth and income gold coast bus communities mining boom ACF investing university typical australian NFP event wedding networking GPO TAS professional speaker staff government baby names report land of the middle class environmental scanning tertiary education politics young australians tableau Valentine’s Day house prices statistics focus groups belief CBD 1968 marketing outsourcing affordability menai sydney hills Canberra proactive renting Western Australia couple keynote speaker work research report post rationalism education future wolloomooloo entrepreneurial wages presentation gig economy 10 years education sector non profit culture speaker resilience Engineering Manager mccrindle research salary NT conference focus group not for profit dreams moreton bay school students social life leadership workshop the changing face of culturally diverse donate population growth schools increasing densification Research Director personalities public speaker System's Architect news youth unemployment New South Wales The Daily Edition housing equip weather panel Education Future Forum millenials Tuesday Trend CPI ashley fell ACF 2016 Births food bank world youth day Christmas season faux-ciliser visualisation social commentary faux-cilise generation 2017 coffee lovers investment Territory litter workforce 24 million educhat lifestyle NSW healthy future Hills Shire Council home australian community trends report grandparents offenders tuesday mccrindle teaching professional services women engagement cold Aussie innovation tattoos Gen X rental stress keynote generations hills shire population milestone renter of the future the great screenage social media parenting work-life local communities sector wide social baby names australia report stats census results rule keeper local community suburban living clothing schools students demographics TED talk commuters energy divorce dream sports global generations organisational culture eliane miles Deaths charity Netflix communication conference speaker norwest January 26th analysis mortgage consumer men optus my business awards ferry case study royal family tv money results google middle class JOMO teacher thrive change Northern Territory world Andrew Duffin jobs of the future townhouses hopes demographic trends suburbs Real Estate Institute of Victoria australian real estate social research parents aged care urban living index Macquarie University Australian Home ACF17 the average aussie innovative SRE marrickville housing market social commentator media activity travel graphs Mark McCrindle Australian schools australia cica state Duchess of Cambridge millennials cancel plans meals house price rise australian communities trends report vegemite marriages group session children Social Trend tips high density Generation Y Charlotte royal influence Christmas presents shopper's pick future of education cars forecast aged care puzzle local average aussie entrepreneurs of today survey design Tasmania "know the times" ageing population internet social change princess charlotte micro ABS easter high density living teachers Work place Geoff Brailey apartments learn mateship volunteering data global Northern Beaches Crime Rates education future report SMSF trends fears ethnography baby name predictions mccrindle in the media resource spirituality long weekend emerging technologies pharmacy goals internship VIC SA crows nest interactive 40 million 2014 Australian Population lalor park 23 million hills impact city gen alpha residents know the times office space research visualisation recap brands WA financial planning click ipswich motivate communications transport small business McCrindle Speakers Vocational education cloudy days google for education financial independence participants learning styles christianity urban living Northern beaches Event teleworking criminal research pack work mates workplace culture trends analyst water census fail infographic wall meetings wealth distribution apartment megatrends 2016 business index