Job-hopping will survive the GFC

By Angela Dorizas

The global financial crisis will lead to a shift in Generation Y’s behaviour at work, but it will not prevent further job-hopping, warns a leading expert on young employees.

Generation Y’s tendency towards short tenure is almost certain to survive the global economic crisis, according to management consultant and author of Generation Y: Thriving (and Surviving) with Generation Y at work, Peter Sheahan.

“There is a sense of urgency in everyone’s behaviour right now. We are all making tough decisions and in Gen Y’s mind a tough decision might be not to move jobs,” Sheahan told GovernmentNews.

“But it is delusion for any employer to think that we are not going to continue to see massive repetitious job hopping.”

Sheahan said if anything has happened as a result of the financial crisis, redundancies and other cost cutting exercises have hammered the “final nail in the coffin of the social contract existing between employer and employee”.

“No one belonging to this new generation accepts for a second that the organisation is out for anyone other than themselves,” he said.

Coming out of the crisis, Sheahan added, we are likely to see greater outsourcing of key business activities and an acceleration of job hopping in the medium term.

He said retention of job-hopping Gen Y employees will be dependent on actions taken by organisations to create a valued workplace culture.

“Retention shouldn’t be a thing that’s looked at in and of itself,” Sheahan said.

“Retention is the result of having done other things very well: setting appropriate expectations in the attraction phase; inducting people so they have a smooth transition into the new role; creating a work environment where they feel like there is respect and a courteous environment where they feel like they’re valued; creating development opportunities so they’re learning and growing and they’re going to be more employable at the end of the year than when they started it; creating a sense of collegiality within a team; and setting a vision at a broader organisation level that’s inspiring and be people want to be a part of.”

Related Story: Managing the Gen Y workforce

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