Stop your business future walking out the door

By on March 20, 2013

Are you making sure your young talent feels challenged and appreciated? SkillSoft’s Kevin Young has this advice to keep the bright, young things in the building.

Experience is crucial when running a business, but recruiting the next batch of talent is essential if your business is to stay one step ahead when older employees go on maternity leave, relocate or take well-deserved retirement.

But it would seem the days of company loyalty are fast becoming a thing of the past. Gone is the era when an employee would commit their future to a company for the majority of their working life – staff turnover is now as much a part of day-to-day office life as changing the paper in the photocopier.

Attracting the best young talent is often only half the battle; it’s keeping them which presents the biggest challenge. This is especially true when you consider that a recent global study by Mercer found that 46% of 16-24 year old workers were considering leaving their job. Yet despite the higher likelihood of moving on to pastures new, that same age group had the highest overall satisfaction rating with their organisations.

So, if this age category is broadly satisfied with their jobs, what is driving them to leave? There are three key factors which make an employee more likely to head down to the job centre, according to our research.

‘I don’t earn enough money’

This was the case for 22.8% of respondents who said they were not happy in their current job. Initially, the thrill of taking home a pay packet will be enough to keep your young staff happy. But they will soon become disgruntled if they start to take on the same workload as older, higher paid colleagues and are not rewarded for their trouble. Schedule regular salary reviews so your young staff knows progression is available.

‘I am bored with my job’

Again, even the most mundane of tasks can often be satisfying for a youngster taking their first steps into the workplace. However, undermining younger staff’s abilities is another way to fast-track your P45 requests. Recognising people’s talents is essential for any business to prosper, so make sure your staff doesn’t end up bored, or worse, unproductive.

‘The work I do is unappreciated’

Freshly recruited workers are often showered with praise in the first few months of employment, only for this to peter out once tasks become expected of them. If an employee is doing a great job, they have to be told. Chances are a couple of thousand rands extra per year in a new company won’t be so tempting if an employee feels valued and appreciated. According to our research, 39.1% of respondents would be more loyal if they felt appreciated in their role.

There is no quick fix to improving your staff retention levels, but setting aside time to cover the most important bases is always time well spent. Young employees have the world at their feet, and it is part of a company’s responsibility to show them that a future within their organisation is their best option.

** Kevin Young is EMEA head of global e-learning company SkillSoft.

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