Keeping employees interested beyond the average tenure

Grace Lennox plans on working at Atlas Copco long into the future.

Atlas Copco national warehouse supervisor Grace Lennox works in a role she enjoys and for a company that allows her to grow personally and professionally. While this may seem like a small feat, Lennox is bucking a trend followed by millennials and Gen Zs worldwide.

Many anticipate staying with one employer for less than two years, but Lennox hopes to keep climbing the ladder at Atlas Copco, after starting in the Atlas Copco Compressors division.

“Because there are so many logistics roles and different sectors worldwide, within Atlas Copco, there are so many opportunities to grow,” she said.

A Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 indicated that Australian millennials have little confidence in the ability of businesses to help them. The survey of 10,455 millennials across 36 countries, including 337 from Australia, asked people about their attitudes to work. Millennials’ opinion of business’ motivation and ethics is at its lowest level in four years. Less than half (45 per cent) of millennials believe business has a positive impact on society, down from 72 per cent in 2017.

Australian millennials believe culture is more important than money, with 67 per cent rating a positive work environment as the most important consideration when choosing a new employer, compared to 52 per cent globally. Gen Z loyalty to employers is lower than millennials, with 59 per cent saying they would expect to stay with their current employer for less than two years.

Lennox has been with Atlas Copco for eight years. While still at school she obtained her first part-time job at 14 years old. Since then, Lennox has continued to hold employment in a range of industries, however working as a supervisor for the Australia sector of Atlas Copco didn’t cross her mind at the time.

Lennox said the role comes with its challenges, including proving her place as a young manager, but she enjoys it so much that she can confidently say she will stay with the company for years to come. “You are giving someone with years of experience advice on how to do their job. It can be a challenge. But I love logistics so it would be something I’d like to stay in,” she said.

After completing her schooling, Lennox worked full-time and studied part-time for several years to help her progress professionally and personally. Prior to starting her role as a warehouse administrator at Atlas Copco’s Blacktown, New South Wales, headquarters, she worked in the recruitment industry starting off in the administration side before moving into a recruitment consultant role. Lennox realised she needed a change with a company that could provide her a work-life balance, so she could continue with her studies, but also work for a company she could grow with for the long term.

Learning and working simultaneously

“I was looking for a change. I wanted to further my education and that meant finding a local job in the west of Sydney so I could keep doing courses at TAFE in the evening. Knowing that Atlas Copco was such a large company, I knew there was room for growth.”

When Lennox started with the company she was doing a diploma in business administration. About two years into the job, she decided to continue studying. She asked Atlas Copco if they would support her and the company agreed to do so. Lennox continued to work full-time while studying part-time in the evenings, completing a certificate in logistics and a certificate in warehouse operations at TAFE in Sydney.

“I took the initiative for it because I wanted to keep learning. They were on board with that. I wanted to show Atlas Copco that I wanted to grow. When I joined Atlas Copco I knew I had obtained a job that would take me places and there is opportunity to move around Australia or even overseas.” Four years into her career, Lennox’s supervisor left, giving her the opportunity to step into a new role.

“I received mentoring when I was in the warehouse administration role. I would often help my supervisor when he needed the extra help. Working side-by-side helped me develop and it gave me knowledge to progress.”

Her advice to others trying to move to managerial roles is to be open minded. “Just because you are employed to do one job, doesn’t mean you can’t do more. It’s one of those attitudes where people say, ‘That’s not my job’. That’s not the way I want to think. The more you know, the more valuable you become,” she said.

Supporting people
in the industry

Atlas Copco Compressors sponsored the Women in Industry Awards 2018 Rising Star of the Year award. The award, won by CSR Limited property development manager Allison Basford, recognises an individual who shows significant promise within their chosen industry or who has reached new goals at the start of their career.

      To become a sponsor for Women in Industry 2019 contact Lauren Winterbottom at lauren.winterbottom@primecreative.com.au or on 039 6908 766.