Gone are the days of the generationally-driven workplace. While organizations have focused on employees’ ages when it comes to engagement strategies, new research tells us there’s more to the story.

A SMS Research Advisors survey, commissioned by Padilla, revealed that career stage plays a critical role in employee engagement. Specifically, how long an employee has been at the company determines their workplace preferences and motivators. Two similarly-aged employees will have different needs and challenges, for example if one is relatively new to the organization, compared to a more veteran employee.

Four key career stages emerged from the research: Newbie (3 years or less at the company); Sophomore (4-7 years at the company); Tenured (8-10 years at the company); and Sage (11 years or more at the company). More details about each stage are outlined in the Engage by Stage report and will also be shared here in the coming weeks, but for now, I’m focusing on the first stage. As a relatively new employee – with just 19 months under my belt – I’m currently in the Newbie stage of my career at Padilla. Here are three key similarities I’ve found between the research results on Newbies and my own workplace experience:

  1.  Along with 54 percent of Newbies, funding priorities in life is my greatest challenge. As a newlywed, I am very focused on building a strong foundation for my family, which, like 52 percent of Newbies, includes saving money for the future and getting out of debt (a challenge for 39 percent of Newbies). As someone who already manages a tight budget, I have aggressive financial goals and dreams of buying a house and starting a family in the next few years. To make those dreams a reality, I need financial stability and a clear idea of my expected income as I begin to plan for my future.
  2. It’s no surprise that 73 percent of Newbies prefer email communications for important announcements. With an unpredictable work schedule and a busy lifestyle, technology is my best friend. Agency life is fast-paced and with social media, things can spread in an instant, which is why I prefer email communications over face-to-face. It’s much easier to open an email with the latest agency news rather than coordinate schedules to get an in-person meeting, plus I can be reached virtually anywhere, anytime.
    73% of Newbies prefer email communications for important announcements.Click To Tweet
  3. One of the top reasons I came to Padilla was to learn new skills, gain knowledge and further my understanding of public relations. This is also the top motivator for 59 percent of Newbies. When I left my previous company, I was really looking for a new opportunity to learn and grow, and to help further my career in PR. Fortunately, that’s exactly what I found and continue to find every day here at Padilla.

What drives and motivates you as an employee in the Newbie career stage?