CIPD: “A mismatch between what employers think younger workers want from a job and what is actually most important to them could mean a critical shortage of managers in ten years’ time, research has revealed.
Becoming a manager and leading a team isn’t an important long-term ambition for Gen Y, according to a survey from HR consultancy firm Penna, despite a fifth of employers believing this to be the case.
The employee research, split into two categories – 18-24 year olds and 25-34 years old – showed that just 21 per cent of the younger age group had senior leadership as their long term goal, while 25-34 year olds were even less convinced, at just over 17 per cent.
The research, conducted among 1000 senior managers and 1000 employees aged between 18 and 34 also revealed that 24 per cent of employers believe having lots of different jobs in different sectors was one of the most important ambitions for this generation.
The survey actually revealed that the top three priorities for Gen Y employees when it comes to career ambitions were: ‘earning a great salary’, ‘being totally fulfilled and happy in my work’ and ‘to have achieved a great life work balance.’
Steven Ross, head of career development at Penna said: “This research has revealed two really important things – one, that we cannot just assume that younger generations in the workplace are automatically going to want to fill the shoes of todays’ leaders and managers, and two – that perhaps Gen Y aren’t as distinctly different from older generations as we thought.
“Whilst organisations are doing pretty well at understanding some of the key motivators, there is work to be done in casting away stereotypes and making sure that managers invest time in regular career conversations with their teams to really understand what drives them,” he added.
The research showed similar disparity around short-term ambitions and motivators.
Over two thirds of senior managers said they believed 18-24 year olds most want a pay rise, and 32 per cent said that 25-34 year olds most want a promotion.
In fact, receiving a pay rise was cited as most important to the higher age range of Gen Y – 23 per cent of 25-34 year olds compared to 17 per cent for 18-24 year olds.
The ambition to be promoted was a bigger driver for the lower age range of Gen Y, with 21 per cent of 18-24 year olds citing it as a priority compared to 13 per cent of 25-34 year olds.
“Whilst things like salary and progression opportunities will never stop being important to them [18-34 year olds], what this research shows is that they need to be listened to, otherwise organisations could be investing time and energy on development initiatives that don’t connect or resonate with them, and that can have serious long term business consequences,” Ross said.