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Deloitte finds retail industry Gen Yers less satisfied at work

Friday, November 13, 2009  
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A new study by Deloitte Consulting LLP finds that Gen Y retail professionals are less satisfied with their  jobs and career paths than Gen Y professionals in other industries.

Deloitte surveyed 860 Gen Y professionals -- 59 working in retail companies -- to assess motivators and work attitudes. Thirty-percent of Gen Y respondents working at retail companies said they had worked for their current employer for four or more years, compared to 13 percent of respondents in other industries. But satisfaction levels among young retail professionals were below average: 27 percent of retail respondents said they "very dissatisfied" or "somewhat dissatified" in their jobs, compared to 18 percent of respondents in other industries.

Opportunity for growth and development was far-and-away the most important factor in respondents' decision to work for their current employer (59 percent) followed by salary and benefits (46 percent) and company culture and reputation (41 percent). Retail respondents were much more likely to cite location as a factor in choosing an employer than their peers in other industries (51 percent vs. 35 percent).

The report -- "Generation Y: Why This Powerhouse Generation May the Key to Your Retail Success" -- refutes the common perception of Gen Y as "overly ambitious dreamers" and finds that the group born between 1982 and 1995 is "highly brand conscious, career-focused and eager to contribute."

"The retirement of Baby Booms over the next 15 years -- even if somewhat delayed by the current economy -- is still a reality that presents retailers with an important dilemma: how to fill the void those retirements will create in career-track corporate positions," the authors report. At the same time retailers are also challenged with "restocking the front-line customer-facing positions that often have a high degree of churn," Deloitte concludes.

Among the report's recommendations: Reinforce your company's image as a high-value brand; invite Gen Yers to the "innovation table"; make investment in technologies like social media; consider future talent needs when forced to layoff workers; and use talent management strategies to integrate Gen Y workers into your workforce.

The complete report is available in our Research section.

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