The Key to Retaining Youth Workers

By Ashley Igboanugo, Engagement Specialist, Youth Workforce Consultancy

Setting goals, defining workplace culture and providing a supportive workplace can help organizations retain their youth workers.

Employee retention is essential for an efficient and profitable workplace. As younger generations enter and exist in the workforce, it is critical to identify factors that can influence their productivity, performance and success.


These factors may range from setting goals and clearly defining workplace culture to providing a supportive workplace. Combining all these factors to enhance employee experience can aid in the retention of youth workers.


Setting Goals

Goal setting is central to employee retention; employers should actively understand and acknowledge what their employees are attempting to achieve, and look for ways to support their paths. Whether it is professional advancement in the field or increased opportunities and responsibilities, employers should seek to provide mentorship and opportunities for training and growth.


Intentional goal setting encourages employees to focus on and identify goals, as well as break these goals down into smaller steps. It is a cycle to set, monitor, and celebrate goals. Personal development is a continuous process, and each goal and milestone along the way should be celebrated.


This process could include one-on-one meetings wherein employers check in with their employees, goal-setting - sheets in which employees would be accountable for their individual progress, as well as the ability to use the new transferable skills in their daily work lives.


Setting goals allows young employees to be heard and advocate for their own needs. The employer and employee relationship extends beyond the simple exchange of the employer's cash for the employee's productivity and works best if the employee is provided with opportunities to grow, learn and to know they are valued.


When an employer emphasizes goal setting, it shows employees that their time and efforts are not in vain and that they also benefit from this professional relationship.


Workplace Culture

Entering a company with no defined workplace culture can lead to ineffective communication and unexpected hostility. Workplace culture should always be identified for young adults entering the organization to help them navigate the work environment as efficiently as possible.


When clear guidelines are introduced to young employees, a degree of trust and transparency is established, and the employee is shown that the company values the specific attributes the employees bring to the company.


Workplace culture tends to reflect the type of organization that an individual works. Young adults in the labour force are equally concerned with proper financial compensation as well as the opportunity to work in a healthy environment where they are respected and treated with kindness and can support or adhere to the company culture.


Supportive Work Environment

During onboarding, introducing company culture can look like going over company beliefs, values and code of conduct. A work environment, on the other hand, is about people within the company as well as the company as a whole.


Organizing icebreakers, team building days, using less formal modes of communication, and checking in on employees are all examples of how to create a friendly atmosphere and set the tone for a social setting in the workplace.


Paid time off, health care benefits, mental health resources, sick days, float days, and flex time are examples of a company culture that demonstrate that employers care about their employee's mental and physical health.