A recent study by YouGov and Applaud has found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of businesses are at risk of losing young workers as a result of below-par workplace experiences.
According to the data, only 28% of UK businesses are equipped to attract young workers and accommodate their needs. So how can business leaders and HR teams ensure that their companies are meeting the needs of young workers?
1. Remote, Flexible and Hybrid Working
A 2022 global study from Kantar found that 86% of Gen Z respondents cited hybrid working as a deciding factor in staying or choosing to join a company. However, the YouGov and Applaud survey found that while some organisations are meeting increased demand from young workers for these new models of working, many others are struggling to adapt.
How can HR Teams help companies adapt to flexible and hybrid working?
Whilst the idea of flexible and hybrid working has been around for a long time, there is no doubt that the pandemic accelerated this way of working, bringing it to the forefront of what young workers look for when it comes to their employment choices. But for HR professionals, flexible or hybrid working may be a daunting prospect. There are so many aspects a company needs to consider and put in place before they can be confident that such initiatives will bring positive change.
However, the key to recruiting and retaining staff often comes down to the finer details and work-life balance, so flexible and hybrid working should not simply be dismissed. Instead, HR teams need to consider how to implement flexible and hybrid working successfully.
It is also important for HR teams to consider the importance of training and what will be needed in order for the company to adapt to a hybrid way of working, including new software which will aid in team working and communication, and equipment for home workers where necessary.
2. Inclusion and Integration
Whilst there are many benefits to flexible and hybrid working, working remotely also brings its own challenges and should be managed effectively in order to drive good outcomes. One of these challenges is that young workers may feel less included. Remote working can mean less structure and less effort to bond people together as a team, which can lead to employees feeling disposable and disconnected from the company, which can lead to resignations.
How can HR Teams help workers feel included?
HR teams need to ensure that new workers establish strong, positive connections with other people with their team, which can be harder when working remotely, but it’s not impossible. Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective, such as arranging regular phone calls or Zoom chats just to check in with employees.
3. Clarity and direction
Another key motivator for young workers is having a sense of clarity and direction. Companies who communicate with young workers about the direction of the company and the part they play within it have a much better chance of retaining these workers.
How can HR Teams help communicate clarity and direction?
HR teams should aim to set time aside to engage with staff about the company, its mission, the wider goal, and the part each individual plays within it. As well as fostering a sense of team spirit, this is a good opportunity to tell each member of staff they are valued, and that they are an important part of the success of the company as a whole. HR software can help with creating a rota of when to meet with individuals to discuss company direction, and the part they play within the business.
4. Development opportunities and training
Another important driver for young workers when it comes to employment choices is development opportunities, training, and career pathways. Good training and development opportunities are important factors for people early on in their career, and young workers appreciate companies who invest in their learning and development.
How HR teams can help support training and development opportunities
HR teams should ensure employees have a clear pathway to progress. There should be clear progression routes drawn up, and employees should be made aware of their path to progression at regular meetings with the HR department and team leaders.
Progression should also be supported by the necessary training. HR teams can ensure training is in place, and that the relevant employees are getting access to training opportunities. HR software can help with arranging training events, sending out invites to relevant workers, and booking people onto events. HR software can also help HR teams to identify employee skills gaps, enabling them to structure, tailor, and deliver training programs to match individual training needs. Furthermore, HR software can help to assess, track, and measure the impact of employee training programs to ensure effectiveness.
How Phase 3 can help you to retain younger workers
Graduates are now more likely to leave their employer than at any point pre-pandemic. On top of that, we are currently experiencing a labour and skills shortage, and job vacancies currently far outweigh the amount of suitable candidates. With all this in mind, attracting and retaining younger employees is now more important than ever.
If you’re looking for ideas and advice on how to retain your younger workers, Phase 3 can help. We’re a HR software consultancy that helps HR teams improve their processes. We can advise on practical solutions to attract and retain younger workers, including how HR software can help. Please contact us to find out more.