A “sense of clarity and direction” is key to integrating and retaining young employees experts have warned
Recent research from YouGov and Applaud, has uncovered that nearly three quarters (72%) of UK businesses are currently at risk of losing their young employees due to not having good enough workplace experiences and technology.
Furthermore, findings from the survey of 503 UK based decision-makers have highlighted that while some businesses are meeting increased demand from young workers for new working methods, some organisations are struggling to adapt.
According to the findings, only 28% of UK organisations are properly equipped to attract young workers and accommodate their needs.
Ian MacRae, work psychologist, has suggested that to improve, businesses should focus on improving how they integrate young employees as well as better communication of purpose to them. “The main thing for younger workers is having a sense of clarity and direction and that’s often not done as well as it could be,” he said.
“Do new workers get really strong, positive connections with other people and the team in the workplace? This can be hard when it’s all done behind a screen: do people really get those connections when working?”
The point MacRae has brought is that fixes to issues with the employment of young people must be more substantial that offering different employment structures, such as remote, flexible or hybrid working.
Although 2022 global research from Kantar stated that the majority (86%) of Gen Z respondents claimed hybrid working is a factor in staying or choosing to join an organisation, MacRae says non-in-person working also needs to be managed effectively to push good outcomes for retaining young employees.
“Remote work can often make work issues more challenging as there can be less structure and less effort to get people well-integrated into the team,” he added. “I think employers and employees can feel disposable in this environment.”
MacRae argues that focusing on the development of opportunities and career pathways is also a key part of retaining young employees.
Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers, Stephen Isherwood, believes that as inflation continues to rise, salary will become an even bigger draw for young workers, but, Isherwood has reminded employers that good training and development opportunities have been one of the most important factors for individuals at the start of their career.
“These findings reflect what we’ve seen among our own membership with graduates more likely to leave their employer now than at any other point pre-pandemic. The key to good retention is ensuring staff have a clear pathway to progress, supported by the necessary training and strong networks.” He said.
Isherwood continued, “We are also hearing that young workers also want flexibility in terms of where and when they work as well as how they develop. Mentoring, opportunities for self-directed learning and good communication are key.”
Duncan Casemore, co-founder and CTO at Applaud, believes that employers should also think about creating productive and engaging experiences for employees in the same way businesses think about consumers.
Casemore said, “To create the ultimate working experience fit for young workers, businesses must think of simplicity, accessibility and convenience.”
With separate research from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) uncovering that graduates are more likely to leave their employer now than at any point pre-pandemic., failure to deliver on what young employees need or want will exacerbate the retention or recruitment issues employers currently face.
According to a report from Universities UK that looked to analyse data from the Office for National Statistics there are currently one million more professional jobs than workers with degrees to fill them.
Additional research from the ISE has found that the number of graduate vacancies is now 20% higher than it was in 2019 before the pandemic and that graduate vacancies were expected to increase by 22% in 2022 compared to 2021.
The proportion of school leavers retained for three years after joining a company also fell to 71%, down from 77% when the ISE collected this data in 2019.
If you would like assistance with creating updated systems in your business to attract young talent or would like to understand what rules and regulation you need to follow when implementing new processes, our team of expert consultants are here to help.
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If you would like to discuss retention further or would like to see how our team can help you effectively manage your HR, please get in contact with our team today.
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