Gen Y Doesn’t Want to Work in Your Call Center

Jim Rembach

Sodexo Motivation Solutions in the UK released the results of its new survey highlighting Generation Y’s (employees aged 16 to 28) perceptions of working. The survey finds that more than half of Generation Y employees are looking to leave their jobs within a year.

While this study was conducted in the UK, the US and Canadian call center industry, are closely aligned with call center practices in the UK. Therefore, assumptions that these results are indicative of US and Canadian call center industry employee engagement and call center candidate sentiment are highly likely.

The findings identify a negative perception of call centers with a dismal 5% of this generation regarding working for a call center as exciting, while 55% consider it in a negative to work in a call center. An embarrassing, 1 in 3 of those surveyed, who are currently seeking work, would rather claim unemployment benefits than work in a call center.


Iain McMath, managing director of Sodexo Motivation Solutions said: "What this survey shows is that much more needs to be done to engage these Generation Y employees."

McMath continues, "Although Generation Y presents its own set of challenges and has different priorities in the workplace than older generations, it is undeniable that these employees are vital to the call center industry. They are quick to adapt, hard-working, creative and not afraid of a challenge. They will require careful management and motivation in order to get the best out of them and retain them for any length of time."

These findings represent a human capital crisis in a population of call center employees that easily embrace and adapt to the increasing technology complexities in call centers. This group, if alienated and lost would be devastating for companies trying to compete. Call center leadership that takes actions to change the status quo leadership practices of call centers stand to gain significant competitive advantages over their traditional call center leadership counterparts.

Learning about the nuances of this generational category of the workforce, up to now, is much maligned in theory-based and anecdotal methods that have not delivered long-term sustainable benefit. This group requires a deep connection and understanding at a personal level.

Jim's column was originally published on