Age not just a number in employee engagement (Part 1)

Generation Y: Pillars of your company’s future success
Offer them purpose, a meaningful career & quality of life

Different generations of employees have different value sets, criteria for motivations and expectations of their employer and job. All this influences how they experience their workplace and how they choose to position themselves within it.

The bottom-end Gen Y (18-24 years old)

These young people usually enter the workplace loaded with enthusiasm, hope and expectation that their employer of choice will meet the initial promise made to them. This makes them activated, positive and highly engaged individuals. Their engagement readings are typically among the highest recorded.

The top-end Gen Y (25-29 years old)

This generation of employees has usually spent sufficient time within an organisation to reach the stage where, for the first time, they are able to seriously reconsider their employer of choice. Is this job and employer what they expected it to be? Do they have to sacrifice above expectation? Is the reward adequate? Is this organisation still relevant to them – is this job really what they want to be doing and importantly, for whom they want to be doing it? Furthermore, because of their age and their growing work experience, future growth within the organisation as well as related stability become important factors for consideration. It is a generally accepted view that this generation is the incubator for any company’s future success and therefore it is essential that talented employees from this age group are retained. These are the young people who will take over the burden and challenges that lie ahead of every business they choose to be part of.

However, Echelon Purple’s research has confirmed that this age group is the least engaged group across the whole spectrum of employees.

The divergence seen within Gen Y serves as a warning to organisations and requires attention. Our research findings also confirm that if this generation cannot find personal fulfilment and individual gain in their job and employer, the company or organisation will gain very little from them. The negative effects of lost promise ripple sharply here. The purpose imperative is far more prevalent in this generation than in any other. They will change employer and even the direction of their career in an effort to follow their expectations and hopes in pursuit of a meaningful career and a better quality life.

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