87% of Companies Are Losing Gen Y Workers, And It’s Costly

Generation Y is going to make up 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025. As they begin to take over, employers are struggling to retain them. In fact, according to a survey, 30 percent of companies lost 15 percent or more of their Gen Y employees in the last year. These losses cost companies anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000.

Members of Gen Y tend to leave because they don’t consider it “a good cultural fit,” they receive better offers, and they had career goals that didn’t align with their employers, according to the survey. While you can’t always fix cultural fit, there are things you can stop doing to improve your workplace and get Gen Y to stick around.

You’re confined to old-fashioned schedules.

You will hear again and again the importance of giving Gen Y some flexibility in the workplace. Survey after survey has found that members of this generation will choose workplace flexibility over pay. This means not limiting them to spending 9-to-5, five days a week in the office.

Instead, give them some room to stretch. Let them adjust their working hours or days, allow them to work from home one day a week, anything to give them some control over their schedules.

Flexibility can include details other than simply adjusting the 9-to-5. You can make your workplace flexible by allowing personal days and providing flexible breaks as well.

You care more about your company than your employees.

Another thing Gen Y really values in a workplace is mentorship. Three in four say they want a mentor who will help them to achieve further career success. If you leave your employees to their own devices once you hire them, they will feel like you don’t care about their success.

To avoid this, you should check in with your Gen Y employees to make sure they feel valued. Give them ways to develop and advance within your company. If they feel they are advancing in your company, they won’t feel the need to seek other opportunities.

You don’t give them the freedom to be creative.

Not only does Gen Y want to be able to advance, but they also want to be able to be creative in their current roles. Nearly 70 percent like to be given the freedom to work on projects of special interest to them.

Entrepreneurial employees can be a real asset to the team. Allowing them to work on passion projects can make your employees happier, and therefore more loyal. Plus, some of the most innovative products have come out of this kind of thinking. Just think about Post-it notes!

Retain those Gen Y workers.

There are plenty of methods out there for companies to implement if they want to retain their Gen Y employees. The problem is many companies are denying the importance of change. Like you’ll hear again and again, Generation Y is the future of the workforce. In the next 10 years, as more members of the generation graduate college, they will take over every industry.

You need to accept the fact that change is on the horizon and you need to adapt. Implement these retention strategies into your company to ensure your younger workers stick with you for the long haul. If you succeed, you’ll save thousands of dollars every year, and you’ll set yourself ahead of the other 87 percent of companies.

How else can you alter your workplace to retain Gen Y employees?

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Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended.

Reader Interactions


    • Niall Ferguson says

      A fascinating insight into the thought processes behind a generation with different workplace values to those in Gen X

      Some may have viewed the X Factor was what impacted Gen Y!

      Instead they appear to be dragging a work – life balance into the workplace….

    • Heather R. Huhman says

      Thanks for commenting! It looks like you also have some great insights on how Generation Y is changing the workplace dynamics. Great piece!



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