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4 reasons modern onboarding programs are crucial for young workers

We hear a lot in the media about the ageing population, how people will be expected to continue working into a more advanced age, and the pressure that will put on the nation’s budget. There’s little argument that people are living longer, and the makeup of the Australian workforce is changing.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, lies the coming generation of employees. Young, eager and educated, they’re entering the workforce by the hundreds of thousands annually. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) notes that the number of people reaching working age is significantly outpacing those entering retirement – 285,000 and 235,000 in 2014 respectively.

Young people are entering the workforce by the thousands.
Young people are entering the workforce by the thousands.

Here are four reasons why providing an effective employee onboarding program is critical for incorporating young workers.

1. Young workers have high turnover

Comprehensive research from Deloitte has shown that fostering loyalty has proven difficult for many companies. In its 2016 Millennial Survey, it was found that two-thirds of all young workers expect to move on to other opportunities within the next five years, with just 16 per cent believing their place of work will remain the same for the next decade.

Deloitte’s findings suggested that lack of advancement options were a key factor in young employee attrition. A better employee onboarding program can inspire workers at an early stage, and help to build stronger engagement from the beginning of their tenure.

A better employee onboarding program can build loyalty early.

2. Young workers are self-guided

Another trait Deloitte found in young workers is their desire to maintain greater control over their careers. Empowering newcomers to the workforce by offering them greater autonomy gives them a confidence in their abilities that is so important, especially for fresh graduates eager to prove themselves.

Your onboarding program will undoubtedly involve plenty of guided orientation, but having a centralised, web-based system for your inductions allows young workers to maintain some of the self-guidance they crave.

3. Young workers are hungry for feedback

Another major study into the millennial workforce, this time from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), identified that while they desire flexibility and variety, young workers are also typically hungry for feedback on their performance.

PwC’s research revealed that over half of all millennial workers demand regular, detailed feedback, while just 1 per cent said feedback was not important to them. Companies who build and nurture the most productive, long-lasting relationships with young workers are those who prioritise setting clear targets and provide timely feedback.

Is your employee onboarding program ready for the new generation?
Is your employee onboarding program ready for the new generation?

4. Young workers are a digital generation

If there’s a single defining characteristic of the coming generation of workers, it’s their association with digital technology. People over the age of 30 may remember a time before the internet permeated almost everything we do, but most millennials were raised with widespread access to the online world.

Considering the huge part it has played in their lives, bringing more tech tools to your onboarding program will offer greater familiarity as they make the transition into your business. Many aspects of modern employee onboarding programs can be delivered digitally, allowing you to tap into the skills your young workers have already developed.

Encouraging the enthusiasm of young workers with a more effective induction program right from day one can have a huge impact on future attrition. Make sure your employee onboarding solution is designed to engage.

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