GenZ is making waves...
But employers don’t seem ready to stand up and ride.
Today’s WSJ published an article titled “The Office Rookies Who Ask for the World” (Sue Shellenbarger) citing the difficulties many managers face in managing the expectations of ambitious GenZ team members seeking rapid pay increases, promotions, and expanding responsibilities.
Condescending tone aside (seriously, maybe start by empathizing with entry level staff — they’re often underpaid, overworked and exempted from overtime, all amidst the backdrop of the best job market in memory; also, find it interesting that the article didn't quote any GenZers, despite being the focus of the article)... entry level folks are taking advantage of a major flaw in the system.
Depending on the field and industry, it can take 3-12 months for many entry level team members to reach peak productivity. All of the on-the-job training cost is borne by the employer, and because of at-will employment (requiring no commitment on behalf of the company or the individual), the team member is now in a position of leverage to ask for promotions, raises, and increasing responsibility when the employer is only just reaching a breakeven point on their investment. What’s worse— other companies’ recruiters are already proactively contacting that individual with a $10k raise and promotion because it’s less costly than an additional 6 months of training for somebody new.
Should managers put in place programs to retain these individuals? Is the investment better aimed at retaining critical team members who are further along in their careers, and thus more likely to stay?