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How to retain young talent after Covid-19?

The post-Covid world will never be the same - that we know for sure. We probably can see only the tip of the iceberg of effects. 

“A Microsoft study finds 41% of workers may quit this year, while business leaders are “out of touch.” 22/3/2021

It seems that there are a lot of things boiling under the hood. Also, with 1.3 billion Gen Z representatives entering the workforce over the next ten years, working and culture will need a pivotal change in a relatively short time. 

The question is then: how can companies retain young talent?


Low retention - more relevant than ever  

This year many companies have been facing the lowest ever employee retention rates. A new hire is troublesome and expensive for organizations; thus, companies would naturally want to retain their employees. However, keeping is, in fact, "harder than hiring new people," as many HR managers say. 

Tech companies are fighting for outstanding talents, and with Gen Z knowing their worth, it's much more complicated. It's not only about the payment, although it is essential too. It's more about communicating the company's culture and overall vision and employing that very much requested "attention to detail" in making them feel a part of the team. 

Deloitte's survey shows that millennials and Gen Z are likely to stay in their current jobs if companies practice an excellent organizational culture of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. Similarly, recognition is crucial, as people who don't feel valued are twice as likely to leave. 

What next?

Leaders will play a crucial role in the workforce's upcoming changes. They need to ensure communication between 5 generations, each with its own history, skills, and expertise. The challenge is to leverage all of that knowledge, expertise, enthusiasm, and digital skills within the organization. That's hard, but how to get there?

What strategies have companies taken? 

We see three main themes: calibrating the culture and working, reskilling & training, and then adapting technologies to support the work transformation. 

Some companies believe that the workplace should feel like a community or even a family. That requires attention for companies to calibrate their values, culture, and way of working. Some say it’s re-engineering the culture. 

Amazon has invested $700 million into upskilling and reskilling their workers (TechCrunch). This move by a tech giant proves once again that in the long run, it’s more beneficial to retain rather than hire. 

To stay competitive and attract new hires, leaders must implement technologies that make jobs more dynamic and fulfilling and allow for career growth. “We invest in AI to make our people into “superheroes,” helping them augment their workflow and be better, faster, and stronger at their jobs,” says the global CIO of EY Jeff Wong.

We see that all these are needed to make work modern and attractive to keep the talent. We need a strong company culture, support for learning, and new technologies to support the new work. 

We see some things to be embraced.

It’s mostly about how we enable things and act on implementing those.  

  • Mix diverse backgrounds and generations for a powerful learning experience for young talent.
  • Support the new way of working models from full-office to full-remote and between as new generations will not settle to work in a cubicle five days per week.
  • Work towards new bring-your-own-software (BYOS) policies because digital natives download the best app for everything.
  • Make sure that there are no repetitive and routine tasks that make them feel like a robot.

Tech teams are already following these principles, and now we see that those are going into traditional environments. Tech teams have strong apprenticeship models, and the shift to remote has been expected for ages, using whatever tool gives the most significant return is a no-brainer, and automating all routines is the default. 

Proactivity is key.

It's no longer enough to be reactive to those inevitable changes; leaders must be proactive and take actual actions to ensure the team's success. All obstacles should be erased from the team’s path. The best technology for the work should be offered, and circumstances for professional growth should be ensured.

Investments made to improve employee satisfaction are never pointless, but now those investments are a must-have to keep the talent. 


Deloitte. 2021. Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html> [Accessed 21 March 2021].
Lundström, A. and Westerdahl, A., 2021. Spotify - Introducing Working From Anywhere. [online] HR Blog. Available at: <https://hrblog.spotify.com/2021/02/12/introducing-working-from-anywhere/> [Accessed 23 March 2021]. 
Perez, S., 2019. Amazon invests $700 million to retrain a third of its US workforce by 2025. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/11/amazon-invests-700-million-to-retrain-a-third-of-its-u-s-workforce-by-2025/ [Accessed March 23, 2021]. 

Written by

Kazyna Turdibayeva

Marketing specialist at Workfellow.