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Attracting and retaining quality employees has become increasingly difficult with each new generation of workers. According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board, just 35% of workers under the age of 25 are currently satisfied with their jobs. That’s bad news for employers, because it means that the new generation of workers who are replacing retiring baby boomers may not demonstrate the same level of company loyalty that their predecessors did.

Reasons for Increasing Employee Dissatisfaction

Generation Y workers have far greater resources at their fingertips when it comes to job talent as well as job availability. Because young workers are increasingly talent-rich in technological fields, they are being courted by a broad spectrum of industry leaders. In addition, the internet has made it possible for this generation to work from home or strike out on their own if they’re not satisfied with current working conditions.

How Employers Can Close the Gap

For employers, the key to attracting and retaining quality talent in this type of job environment is engaging employees by identifying the reasons they leave, making them feel valued, and encouraging commitment to the mission of the company. Specifically, employers need to take steps such as the following in order to earn employee loyalty:

  • Identify Flight Risks—Motivate employees to remain where they are by making sure they are a good fit for the position, promoting strong relationships, providing growth opportunities, and keeping an eye on external data such as job market and hiring trends.
  • Invest in Most Valuable Employees—Invest your resources in those employees who will provide the most value long-term according to their growth potential and ambitions.
  • Consider Flexible Work Arrangements—As the balance of work-life needs becomes increasingly difficult, consider offering options such as telecommuting, flexible hours, part-time opportunities, and job-sharing.
  • Incorporate Both Financial and Non-Financial Rewards—While pay increases and bonuses remain strong motivators for employees, surveys also identify non-financial rewards such as benefit packages, increased autonomy, career development, and mentoring programs as reasons employees choose to remain with an organization.
  • Promote From Within—Provide training opportunities and offer employees the potential to reach beyond their current positions.
  • Conduct Routine Employee InterviewsExit interviews can be helpful, but what about retention interviews? Consider interviewing the employees who are sticking around to find out why they’re staying, what they like and don’t like about their work environment, and what conditions might cause them to leave.

One of the most important steps businesses can take to increase satisfaction among workers is to listen to their concerns by promoting open dialogue. In a job market that has become increasingly competitive, organizations must focus not only on attracting the right talent, but also on keeping them satisfied in their positions.