Supporting youth in early employment

Job creation is meaningless without supporting youth in early employment


Advancing youth employment doesn’t only require increasing head count, according to youth employment engine Lulaway. When talking about job creation, we forget about the importance of retaining those who do have jobs. Lulaway statistics show that up to 30% of young new hires leave their jobs within three months of being employed. Without support at the workplace, youth are more likely to fall prey to long-term unemployment.

High staff turnover is not only destructive for the employee who is likely to remain unemployed in the long-term, but also for the employer who incurs wasted recruitment, training and onboarding costs along with lost productivity.

Here’s how employers can retain millennials in the entry-level working environment. 

Set up clear expectations from the start

Clear expectation management is key to employee retention. From the interview stage, clearly state expectations of working hours, salary arrangements and commission structures. Provide communication channels to clarify any questions.

The clearer you can be about job requirements and expectations, the more likely it is that new employees will be satisfied with their roles once they start. Be honest with your candidates about job requirements, the qualifications required to be successful, growth opportunities, and tasks the new hire will face.

Remember, many of these people are working for the first time, and need constant guidance. Lulaway’s findings show that unmet expectations are one of the primary causes of high drop-out rates.

Engage and provide regular feedback

Employees need to receive feedback about their performance. They want to positively contribute to their respective organisations.  But traditional semi-annual reviews do not work for millennials. They want to know that they’ve done a good job, and they want to know now. Create regular formal feedback sessions, as well as offer regular informal feedback.

Feedback must be administered in such a manner that millennials can be receptive to it. Using the sandwich feedback method, which consists of praise followed by corrective feedback followed by more praise, employers can deliver bite size task-specific feedback.   

To assist millennials in keeping engaged:

-       Give them checklists,

-       Offer plenty of help,

-       Reward them for innovating and taking appropriate risks,

-       Create a team-oriented culture, where they feel they contribute to the goals of the team,

Actively promote career growth within the company

Starting out at the bottom is tough. Menial labour, long hours and physically demanding work is the norm. When entry level employees often don’t see a future in what they are doing, they leave in pursuit of easier and more meaningful work. 

Entry-level positions serve as stepping stones which allow for employees to grow in their particular career. Young employees need to see for themselves that hard work will be worth it in the long run.  They show resilience and grit when they can see a future within the company and know the next career steps available to them. 

Management can introduce entrant employees to people who started out at the bottom and moved into more senior roles. These people can act as mentors to the new staff.

Entrusting millennials with managing a project or account boosts their confidence and increases their level of engagement.

Millennials want to feel valued, they need to know that their organisations are investing in them.  When millennials are disengaged from their work, they become disillusioned with employment, leading to early drop-outs.

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Issue 83


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