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Generation Z in the Workplace: How to Manage Expectations and Foster Engagement with Job Hoppers

Are you a job hopper or a long-term loyalist? It's a question that has been hotly debated in recent years, particularly among the younger generation of employees. During a recent training session I conducted for a group of new joiners, this topic came up, and it got me thinking about the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches.

At the end of my training session, I offered to answer any career-related questions the group had, and a young man asked about the organization's pay compared to the market. A young woman then chimed in, saying that job hopping was the best way to get a 20% pay increase, and it made more sense than staying in one place. These comments got me thinking about several things.

Firstly, the idea that job hoppers get paid more is not entirely unfounded. Studies have shown that employees who switch jobs frequently may earn higher salaries than those who stay with the same employer for an extended period of time. However, there's a catch - mindless hopping without a goal could eventually lead to a pay cap.

Secondly, it made me wonder how their line managers would address these perceptions. If these questions go unanswered, there's a risk of dissatisfaction in their new roles that could snowball, resulting in higher costs of replacement. Line managers need to be equipped to handle these questions and engage with their employees regularly to address their concerns and ensure job satisfaction.

Thirdly, I wondered if we should be addressing these concerns earlier in the onboarding process. By adopting an open culture during orientation, we can welcome any questions or feedback that will set employees on the right track from the start.

I turned to the woman and said, “Yes, its undeniably true that via job hopping, our salary do get a healthy boost. That’s if you do well in every hop. Otherwise you will eventually reach to a pay cap, caused by mindless hopping without a long term goal.”

Then I turned to the gentleman saying, “Whether the organization pays better than market, it all entirely depends on you, doesn’t it. Your value is well determined by your actions and decisions.”

I added, "When it comes to pay, the organization's compensation structure depends on the individual's performance. If you're doing well within the scope of your job, promotions and pay jumps will be limited. However, if you take on more responsibilities, show resilience and growth that benefits the organization, you're viewed as an asset, and that can lead to both external and internal opportunities along the way. There is a human capital cost in macroeconomics, and that same cost also applies to organizations. It’s a measure of productivity."

Ultimately, the decision to job hop or stay with one employer should be based on individual circumstances and priorities. It's important to have a balanced approach and to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of each. Line managers and organizations need to provide clear information on compensation and career growth opportunities, and employees need to understand that their value is determined by their actions and decisions.

In conclusion, the job hopping versus long-term loyalty debate is not a straightforward one. It's essential to create an open culture during onboarding, engage with employees regularly, and equip line managers with the necessary tools to answer questions related to pay and career growth. By doing so, we can ensure job satisfaction and minimize the costs of replacement.

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