Younger workers on the look out for better pay and brighter opportunities; stability, incentives and collegial work environment key to retaining staff.
Nearly half (45 per cent) of millennials, those aged between 18-29 years, in South Africa are actively looking for a new job.
While South Africa is a nation with more job-hoppers than most developed economies, CEB’s Global Talent Monitor shows this to be significantly higher than the international average, with just 24 per cent of the global workforce on average looking to move on.
Intent to stay in this segment is worryingly low amid negative forecasts about the economy and a 25 per cent unemployment rate. Nearly one-in-five employees (17.7 per cent) plan to leave their job in the next 12 months, compared to 9.3 per cent of all workers around the world.
It is clear that younger workers are most likely to feel dissatisfied with the rewards and career opportunities available. The reality is that they are ambitious, determined and willing to gamble their jobs for better and brighter opportunities elsewhere. Employers therefore need to consider a range of options for retaining talent. As well as looking at pay, they need to offer new opportunities and experiences for employees to show there is a chance for real development.
South Africa in general has high expectations when it comes to future pay; millennials expect to see a 17.4 per cent rise in total compensation when switching to a new job, compared to 15 per cent among those in their 30s and 8.6 per cent globally. However, just 33 per cent of workers overall indicate they are satisfied with the rewards from their employer.
On managing millennials, organisations should not be discouraged by the low intent to stay among millennials. The number of workers going above and beyond the call of duty in their current jobs still remains high and workers are open to engaging with their employers about new opportunities. It’s just a question of prioritising what is most important – including the opportunity to gain a variety of experiences, a stable outlook, strong incentives and a collegial work environment – and making sure those are on offer.
In order to prevent a ‘brain drain,’ companies need to focus on boosting engagement levels of employees who place a premium on progression and meritocracy. Compensation alone will not be enough. Employers need to engage in open conversations about employees’ long-term career paths and how they can expect to develop in the near-term as well.
Clare Moncrieff is the HR Principal Executive Adviser at CEB.