According to the survey of more than 18,000 professionals by the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, those born after 1980, known as Millenials or Generation Y, would be more loyal to an organisation and more likely to recommend working there to a friend if they felt valued and enjoyed the job rather than if their pay packet increased.
The news will be of interest to the hospitality sector which traditionally struggles to recruit and retain staff, as it shows what motivates the up-and-coming senior management class of the future, says iOpener.
“This Generation Y insight report provides an important wake-up call for management to pay attention to employee feelings of engagement, empowerment, purpose and future development if they are to retain and foster young talent in their company," said Jessica Pryce-Jones, founder director of the iOpener Institute and author of Happiness at Work – Maximising Your Psychological Capital for Success.
"This is a particular issue in the hospitality sector where more than three quarters (77 per cent) of the restaurant industry’s waiting staff are currently under 30."
Social media and Corporate Social Responsibility
The report also found that with an increasingly digital savvy workforce, systems needed to be changed and adapted in order to cater for a new workforce. Generation Y was increasingly making use of social media networks to communicate with friends and search for jobs, it found.
Indeed, some companies, like the Northcote Group have changed their staff management systems and training processes in order to retain talent. The company allows staff to trade hours with others via its Facebook page for example.
Programmes such as Pub & Bar Careers Perceptions, set up earlier this year to help change perceptions of jobs in the sector, is also already aiming to better engage young people by giving them a greater insight into the industry and showing how easy it can be to progress with the right attitude.
The majority of Generation Y employees are also keen to make a difference to the economy or society and feel that their work is worthwhile, the survey found. Companies with a strong corporate social responsibility ethic would increase their appeal to this generation, the survey suggested as they were keener than previous ones to volunteer or carry out community service.
“The science of identifying and improving people’s happiness at work is now an exact one, with proven method and, most importantly, measurable commercial advantages. Recruiting talent is expensive, so measures which retain younger staff saves hard cash, and avoids expensive business disruption. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations across a Generation Y employee’s social network play a powerful role in attracting talent, and therefore provides employers with hard financial advantage,” said Pryce-Jones.