Business ownership is key to Generation Y retention

Eight in ten graduates rate employee ownership as the main influencer to their career choice, a new study reveals.

It is about more than just salary for Generation Y, as eight out of ten graduates in the West Midlands state that the prospect of employee ownership schemes is a key driver to deciding on where to work, according to research by law firm, Shakespeare Martineau.

The firm’s research reveals that graduates are increasingly looking for more than just a job that they can clock in and out from. The prospect of having real ownership, responsibility and influence within a business is far more important to them than salary and reward packages and now is the time for businesses to act.

Although more than a third of graduates state that specialist expertise (36 per cent) and a good reputation (34 per cent) provide a huge bearing on where they choose to work, the prospect of employee ownership far outweighs them and large remuneration packages.

Commenting on the research of 150 graduates in the West Midlands, Gary Davie, head of the employee ownership division at Shakespeare Martineau, thinks that the so-called Generation Y has a reputation of being disloyal and quite flighty when it comes to employment, but this simply isn’t true.

Davie says, ‘It seems that some businesses are failing to keep their finger on the pulse of what this group of future employees are looking to get out of their careers. Adopting an employee ownership model, where possible, could help to narrow the skills gap, enhance innovation, productivity and stimulate business growth.

‘With the battle to attract the workforce of the future more fierce than ever, businesses should now be looking at the motivation factors that not only attract graduate-level entrants, but also maintain and retain them. It is clear from the research that businesses that want to attract graduates need to think about the main motivator – ownership and having a real say.’

Davie concludes, ‘Although employee ownership isn’t right for every business, businesses must seek to introduce more imaginative ways to retain and gain a top quality workforce, and for those businesses looking at succession planning or start-ups in the fledging stages of the business lifecycle, moving to employee ownership is a real possibility that should be a consideration.’

Further reading on Generation Y

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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