No, it isn’t about money.
Despite the lingering stereotype, Gen-Y workers aren’t solely concerned about the figures on their pay slips. It’s an important factor to consider—that much is undeniable—but it isn’t usually the driving force behind the decision to leave a company. Below are three reasons that might explain the mass exodus many companies experience:
THEY WANT LONG-TERM LEARNING AND GROWTH.
Many younger workers, especially those fresh out of school, enter a company hoping to be trained. In the past, job promotions were the prevalent measure of one’s growth in a company, but today the focus lies in personal and professional development. Mentors are sought, seminars are attended, all to expand one’s mind and skill set. If your company leaves employees with dry, repetitive tasks day in and day out, their development is stunted. Encourage a culture of learning! Assign them books to read, encourage them to reach out to influencers on social media, introduce them to people in your network. Your employees’ growth won’t go unnoticed—you’ll find yourself attracting more high-caliber talent as well.
THE COMPANY CULTURE ISN’T A FIT.
Simply put, nobody wants to be stuck where they don’t feel welcome. Company culture has become such a major concept in big-name companies and buzzy startups, but it doesn’t mean you need to provide your employees with an endless supply of food, early morning dance parties, or free massages on demand. It all comes down to whether an employee feels a sense of belonging in a company. What are your values? What do you prioritize? Some people might thrive in a do-or-die environment, but others may crumble under the pressure and opt for a more easygoing pace. What are your processes like? If your company is stuck with outdated processes and technology that should have been left behind a long time ago, young workers will feel the strain. At the end of the day, many people rely on a gut feeling—does it feel good where they are? If the answer is no, they’ll likely search for an environment that feels right.
THEY FEEL A LACK OF SUPPORT.
Young workers are full of fresh ideas and optimistic enthusiasm—don’t diminish their capacity to be great. Too many companies are bogged down by hierarchies and old-school policies that leave junior employees with little responsibility. Don’t let rank or age dictate the contribution one can make; Gen-Y workers are just as eager to add value to the company as anyone else. Give them freedom to test new ideas, and let them see their failures as lessons, not shortcomings. If they feel like they have your trust, they’ll be more secure in executing grand plans, assessing possible weak spots, and celebrating the successes that are sure to come.