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Talent Retention Strategies for Generation Y: Analytical Essay

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1. Abstract

For organizations to grow and flourish, managing the right talent for the right job is necessary. Talent management includes acquiring, maintaining, planning, and retaining employees. Among these dimensions, retaining of employees in generation Y is difficult. So, to overcome this issue, certain strategies should be made. These strategies will help organizations to retain talented employees which are important assets for the performance of the organization. This study aims to know the reasons of non-retention in generation Y employees as well. For this purpose, open-ended interviews will be conducted from 8 executives and manager level as well as a total of 6 employees falling under the category of Gen Y both from 3 public and 3 private organizations in Lahore by using the grounded theory concept. These instructions can be interpreted by the construction of themes. This will help the managers for the development of strategies to retain talent in the organization. A constructive worldview perspective will be followed and data can be analyzed by decoding of the information obtained from the interviews.

Key Words: Talent management, talent retention, talent retention strategies, generation Y, grounded theory.

2. Introduction

2.1 Statement of the problem

“At the end of the day, it’s the man that matters not the strategies” is the most focused notion these days. In this era of high competition, every executive body tries to be at the top and for this purpose, they extract the best person from the pool of candidates. This increasing trend of attracting the best talent and grabbing it has given great importance to the term “Talent Management” these days. There is little doubt seen on the important role of talent management these days as it is growing not only in academics but also in organizations including multinational enterprises and small-sized organizations. (Lewis & Heckman, 2006). As talent management is the term frequently used these days, I want to make my study based not on the whole talent management but only on one dimension of it.

Now I will define my terms, starting from talent management. Talent management is maintaining, acquiring, retaining, and planning the employees with the required skills and knowledge. (Phillips & Edwards, 2008). Talent management has become a challenging factor for HR due to its growing adaptability and emphasis in organizations. (Farndale, Scullion, & Sparrow, 2010). Many researches on talent management is conducted in America and Anglo-sexton countries. While no research in the Pakistani context.

Talent management not only deals with succession plans, turnover rate or developing of employees rather it also relates with the overall strategies and objectives of the organization. (Cappelli, 2008). Vieman and Collings (2014) suggested that although talent management has played a vital role in the performance of the organization, less research and emphasis has been done on talent management and talent retention.

As it is easier for a talented person to shift his job, it becomes important to retain the talent as their absence can have a negative impact on the performance of the organization. (Kontoghiorghes & Frangou, 2009). Talent retention and turnover are sometimes used side by side but they both are different terms. Talent retention is to retain talent in an organization while turnover is the number of employees leaving the organization.

Retention of the employees is the issue facing these days in generation Y in Pakistan. For this purpose, certain strategies should be made. Generation Y is the influential generation these days. Different scholars define generation Y differently. Some defined it the generation starting from 1980-2001. A generation is more comfortable with using microcomputers than using notebooks. (Black, 2010). While at some places it is defined as a generation between 1977 and 1994. (Morton, 2002). There are four generations named traditional born before 1945, Baby Boomer born between 1945-1964, Generation X from 1965-1980, and Generation Y born after 1980. (Eisner, 2005). Eisner (2005) also stated that these generations are given different names as well based on their timelines. Generation Y is also known as Millennials, the Internet generation, the Next generation (Durkin,2008), and the Net generation (Tyler,2008). Generation Y was first named in 1993 by Advertising Ages. (Reed,2007). The twenty-first century is the century of a shift from generation X to generation Y so it’s important to know the attributes and characteristics of this generation. (Reisenwitz & Iyer, 2009). As generation Y graduates enter the working place their potential for work is higher than their ancestor’s generations. (Lee Taylor & Cosenza, 2002).

A study on the priorities and expectations of generation Y reveals that with the advancement of technology, this generation enhanced their skills so their expectations regarding a job also increased vary from certain factors like gender, class, CGPA, etc. (Ng, Schweitzer, & Lyons, 2010). Moreover, generation Y is less loyal to brands and is the first generation to use emails. (Tyler,2008). A study reveals that generation Y employees have a unique working trend. They usually want change and for this, they change their jobs in every 2-4 years. (Reisenwitz & Iyer, 2009). Moreover, their purchasing power is entirely different and unique based on clothes, shoes, beauty products, food, and technology which are the main areas of their attention. (B. Valentine & L. Powers, 2013). According to the marketing point of view, generation Y isn’t a generation that is loyal to a single brand rather it’s a generation of taking shopping as a fun-loving activity for recreation purposes. (Wolfe, 2004). As far as professional life is concerned, generation Y usually wants a flexible working lifestyle with telecommunication options and socialization. (Armour, 2005)

From the above-mentioned attributes of generation Y, we can formulate retention strategies, but first, we need to analyze the factors behind their turnover in different organizations. Deer (2008) provided an article based on the effect of turnover on work-life balance. According to him job satisfaction, work commitment, and attributes are the factors of turnover. The socio-exchange theory suggests that generation Y has a great interest in training and development in the context of talent management and retention. (Al Ariss, Cascio, & Paauwe, 2014). Hence, this shows that one of the retention strategies can be the facility of training and development to the employees. Not only the retention but the recruitment of this generation is considered as the difficult task a manager is performing these days because it’s a generation with a different mindset than the previous one. (“Recruiting & the job Hunt”, 2008).

A number of studies are conducted whose focus is on the work-life balance of different generations but they are merely focusing on Western Culture so implemented to that particular area. For the retention of generation Y, the responsibility of managers is to formulate and notice the ethical code of conduct which will enhance the abilities and thus motivate the employee to work well. (Atab, Penbek, Zaptçioğlu, & Ucel, 2013). Generation Y is less cynical but more passionate and optimistic about their task. (Hymowitz, 2007), that makes them risk averse and they are more adaptive to change. (Yıldırım & Korkmaz, 2017) which is the reason that this generation is more comfortable with the invention of new technologies and can tackle with the problems faced in the usage of this technology. (Anantatmula & Shrivastav, 2012).

For the recruitment and retainment of an employee, it’s important to have an attractive culture with ethical norms and values. This culture should be according to the organizational goals to attract and retain talent. (Sabatelli, 2017). Now a day, organizations are facing a great challenge to retain this generation as it constitutes a complicated set of characters and high expectations from the company. To minimize this challenge and to retain this generation, organizations need to reform and redesign their work environment and their mentoring methods. (Aruna & Anitha, 2015). Not only the redesigning but the executives should also keep one thing in mind the strategies should not only focus the top or executive levels but also the middle and low-level employees. (Guthridge, Komm, & Lawson, 2008). A study conducted in India shows that for high retention, there should be a good engagement of employees with employers to have effective communication. (Bhatnagar, 2007)

The literature defines that talent retention is an ongoing term these days but its link and its strategies for generation Y is hardly seen. So, it’s a dire need for today to focus on these strategies not only for the performance of the organizations but also for the economy of the country. This study will directly affect both the private and public organizations working in Pakistan to formulate strategies in order to retain their Gen Y employees and to reduce the turnover ratio that negatively impacts the reputation of an organization.

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2.2 Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study, which is based on grounded theory is to examine the reasons behind the non-retention of employees. This study will also help to develop the strategies for the retention of generation Y employees. Moreover, this will help to increase the performance of an organization by the development of retention strategies. The purpose of the study will be satisfied by the answers of managers, executives, and employees of the public and private organizations having an office in Lahore.

2.3 Research Questions

The following research questions will be proposed as central questions in my study:

  • What are the main reasons behind the non-retention of talent in generation Y?
  • What retention strategies should be developed?

Further sub-questions under these central questions will be put forward as this will be an open-ended interview.

3. Procedures

3.1 Philosophical Worldview

The intent of this study is basically to rely on the constructivist worldview i.e. understanding the meaning of the participants and relying on it rather than constructing our own. Being a researcher, open-ended questions that are mentioned above will be asked from the participants and answers will be interpreted following the inductive approach.

3.2 Qualitative Design

The focus on grounded theory is because the strategies have not been experienced by the participants themselves as it’s not prevailing in Pakistan until now and as a researcher, I don’t have any idea about the effect of these strategies, so a general, abstract theory of the participants will be explored.

3.3 Role of the Researcher

I as a researcher will use the qualitative research method to explore my study through a constructivist perspective using a grounded theory of qualitative design. Data will be collected through open-ended interviews and their answers will be interpreted in such a way to avoid any biases. Their answers will be recorded with their permission and then will be interpreted. I as a researcher will try to provide a comfortable environment to the interviewees so as to get optimum responses from them because the whole study revolves around these responses and their results. Moreover, personal information will be kept confidential.

3.4 Data Collection Procedures

The data collection to check the talent retention strategies for generation Y will take place by conducting open-ended interviews from executives, managers, and gen Y employees of public and private sector organizations. Interviews will be conducted from:

  • 2 Managers and 1 executive level officer falling in generation Y of 3 well-known as well as medium-sized private organizations.
  • 2 managers and 1 executive level officer from generation Y of 3 public sector organizations.
  • A total of 6 employees that fall in the category of Generation Y.

Managers and executive level persons are chosen for the interview because they are involved in selecting as well as retaining of the employees and are more responsible for the better performance of the organization. Along with generation Y employees are selected so as to know the reasons behind their non-retention to a company.

3.5 Data Analysis Procedure

As this is a qualitative research study so data will be analyzed side by side with the data collection. During interviews, memos and the main points will be written on paper that will initially be in raw form, and later these memos will be included in the final report. After the data is collected, it will be organized and prepared for data analysis. Following this, the data will be read out and computerized coding of data will be done through QSR NVivo. From this, the description of the setting will be generated as well as the data will also be aggregated to a small number of themes like 5 to 7 themes. And then the meaning of these themes will be interpreted.

3.6 Anticipated Ethical Issues

  • Before starting the research, the researcher needs to have their research plan reviewed by the institutional review board.
  • Prior to the research, necessary permissions should be obtained.
  • Necessary information will be shared with the participants.
  • The participants will not be forced to sign the informed consent form.
  • The privacy of the participants will be maintained.
  • Harmful information will be avoided.
  • Culture and norms will be respected.

4. Significance of the Study

This study is significant for the managers and executive officers of the organizations as it will help them to formulate strategies of retention in generation Y which is the most prevailing generation these days in Pakistan. As there is no as such previous research on this topic in Pakistan so it might help to enhance the productivity of the companies. It helps the executives to manage and tackle the non-retention situations in their organization.

5. Limitations

· The managers and executive level officers might not be available.

  1. Data of the employee might be confidential to share.
  2. Data will be confined to Lahore, as I am a resident of Lahore so the research will not be general but rather specific to Lahore.

To overcome these limitations, certain steps will be undertaken like to have the access to the data and availability of the managers and executives, I will likely use some references for authentic information. Moreover, to make this study a general one I will try to move out of Lahore to check my findings and results.

6. References

  1. Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W. F., & Paauwe, J. (2014). Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 173-179.
  2. Anantatmula, V. S., & Shrivastav, B. (2012). Evolution of project teams for Generation Y workforce. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 5(1), 9-26.
  3. Armour, S. (2005). Generation Y: They’ve arrived at work with a new attitude. USA Today, 6, 2005.
  4. Aruna, M., & Anitha, J. (2015). Employee retention enablers: Generation Y employees. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 12(3), 94.
  5. Atab, G., Penbek, Ş., Zaptçioğlu, D., & Ucel, E. B. (2013). Clash of Generations at Workplace: What does Business Ethics Mean to Different Generations in Turkey? Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(9), 532.
  6. B. Valentine, D., & L. Powers, T. (2013). Generation Y values and lifestyle segments. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 30(7), 597-606.
  7. Bhatnagar, J. (2007). Talent management strategy of employee engagement in Indian ITES employees: key to retention. Employee Relations, 29(6), 640-663.
  8. Black, A. (2010). Gen Y: Who they are and how they learn. Educational Horizons, 88(2), 92-101.
  9. Cappelli, P. (2008). Talent management for the twenty-first century. Harvard business review, 86(3), 74.
  10. Eisner, S. P. (2005). Managing generation Y. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 70(4), 4.
  11. Farndale, E., Scullion, H., & Sparrow, P. (2010). The role of the corporate HR function in global talent management. Journal of World Business, 45(2), 161-168.
  12. Guthridge, M., Komm, A. B., & Lawson, E. (2008). Making talent a strategic priority. McKinsey Quarterly, 1, 48.
  13. Kontoghiorghes, C., & Frangou, K. (2009). The association between talent retention, antecedent factors, and consequent organizational performance. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 74(1), 29.
  14. Lee Taylor, S., & Cosenza, R. M. (2002). Profiling later-aged female teens: mall shopping behavior and clothing choice. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 19(5), 393-408.
  15. Lewis, R. E., & Heckman, R. J. (2006). Talent management: A critical review. Human resource management review, 16(2), 139-154.
  16. Morton, L. P. (2002). Targeting generation Y. Public Relations Quarterly, 47(2), 46.
  17. Ng, E. S., Schweitzer, L., & Lyons, S. T. (2010). New generation, great expectations: A field study of the millennial generation. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(2), 281-292.
  18. Phillips, J. J., & Edwards, L. (2008). Managing talent retention: an ROI approach: John Wiley & Sons.
  20. Sabatelli, A. (2017). Self-initiated expatriate’s generation Y personality traits and challenges organizations face to recruit them.
  21. Wolfe, D. (2004). It’sa myth: boomers did not lead the charge for change in the 1960s: September.
  22. Yıldırım, N., & Korkmaz, Y. (2017). Challenge of Millennials in Project Management: Insights on Attitudes and Perceptions of Generation Y in Software Development Projects. International Journal of Information Technology Project Management (IJITPM), 8(2), 87-108.

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