Following the Great Resignation of 2023 in the US, many countries globally have seen a rising trend of continued resignations by Gen Z and millennial workers. Most recently, a future-of-work expert, Ravin Jesuthasan, told Business Insider at the World Economic Forum that Gen Z wants to work to live rather than live to work. According to Jesuthasan, this is because they have seen how much previous generations have suffered under the current job market. People work extremely hard and never seem to be repaid in kind.
There are multiple reasons why some companies are struggling to retain young workers. It’s almost inevitable considering how millennials and Gen Z are the first generations with less wealth than their parents after joining the workforce. Inflation, debt, poor economic policies, corporate greed, and global events have led to a worldwide recession.
Companies can take measures to entice younger workers to remain within the company for many years and ensure their tenure is valuable to both the worker and the company. But first, they need to understand the most common reasons workers wilfully leave employment, even in a recession.
1. No room for development
Career growth is an important part of employees working in their preferred industry. When you call in a candidate for an interview, ensure you point out what development or career growth opportunities are available within the company. This applies to young people attending industrial attachment. If they don’t get a paid opportunity with upward mobility in the company, they will leave as soon as they get a job that meets their development needs. A job with no room for growth, even if it’s just a salary increase with more duties, will not keep an employee longer than a few years.
When employees stay because they have no choice, they will often become demotivated and even take on secondary gigs. This can easily lead to burnout and a poor work-life balance. A company shouldn’t aim to be a placeholder for young talent, but more of a stepping stone to their success. Some companies hire interns fresh out of college and refuse to absorb them. They are willing to extend internships with no extra stipends or benefits but still require them to work full-time or overtime. As soon as the internship ends, they will leave to try their luck elsewhere. This is exploitative and young people no longer want to work for nothing.
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2. Lack of job security
Current employment trends skew towards contract or gig workers. Even though younger workers may not seek long-term employment, they want their time at a company to be well-compensated and give them more skills to remain hireable. The job security younger workers require also refers to not having a revolving door of coworkers. When a job has a high turnover rate, it’s a sign that a company has a toxic culture or poor business practices. Young workers want mentorship, cooperation, and peers who can grow with them. They don’t care for needlessly competitive environments. Career Tips: How To Fast Track Your Way To A Job Promotion
3. Job rigidity
Many times, a role will naturally evolve but sometimes the extra work given has no value to the resume of a worker. This happens when there are coworkers who get supervisory positions but they don’t understand the fields they’re overseeing. For example, an older worker who has worked in sales for most of their career is put in charge of digital marketing. Whenever they make decisions, they sometimes don’t work out and younger workers with a better grasp of social media spend more time fixing the errors rather than focusing on their jobs. In addition, they also have ideas or projects turned down because the person in charge doesn’t understand the need for them. They also try to gatekeep resources.
When this happens, young workers will try to strictly stick to their job description where they don’t get more work experience. When companies don’t incentivize innovation and growth, these younger workers will leave. Companies can ensure that the chain of command for different roles is given based on expertise and work experience. They can also pay workers to get formal training where they can apply what they learn to their jobs. When you keep your employees hireable, they will be more likely to remain with you. 6 Reasons Why You Need To Learn Skills Outside Your Job
4. Lack of positive reinforcement
Many workers require constructive criticism to know where they can improve and what they’re already doing right. Whenever companies do period reviews, it’s important for the meeting to be held between the worker and their direct supervisor. Ensure this isn’t relegated to a faceless HR manager as we saw in this viral video. Brittany Pietsch worked for Cloudflare, an IT company, and found out she was about to be fired. When her call finally came through, she recorded it and uploaded it to TikTok. Company reps told Pietsch that she hadn’t met company expectations. She demanded specifics and the reps didn’t have any concrete answers for her. The Cloudflare CEO, responded later that no employee should be surprised that they’re underperforming.
When a company shows signs of constantly getting rid of people without concrete reasons, workers will find other jobs. It’s necessary for to ensure that your employees don’t feel like they’re in the dark. Young workers don’t need constant praise. However, they also don’t want to be blindsided if they’re doing something wrong. They also need to see the fruits of their labour. Show them direct results or benefits of what they’re doing for the company.
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