Young managers in the grocery industry are putting in long hours - and it’s not just for the fat pay cheque. Ronan Hegarty reports

Young managers are putting in the hours for the love of the job, rather than for a fat pay packet - though quite a few are getting that as well. This was the surprise finding of our latest survey of members of Leading Edge, IGD’s networking forum for young managers.
We asked for their views on what first attracted them to the industry, what benefits they look for, how satisfied they are in their current role and what other factors would keep them in the grocery industry.
Asked what attracted them to the industry, most members said they believed the grocery industry to be a challenging and constantly changing arena. Many cited an interest in food as an initial reason for joining the industry. One described it as “an industry in which every day is different, with so much going on you can’t get bored”.
Leading Edge members come from all areas of the food and drink industry - primary producers, food and non-food producers and retailers in both the convenience and multiple sectors.
For the vast majority, the biggest factor that helped them choose their current role was that they saw it as a good avenue for career progression. This was followed closely by the desire for a challenging role and variety of work. Surprisingly, money and perks only made it in as the fourth most popular reason for taking up their current position.
Location was the sixth most popular reason for choosing a job, while the draw of a large, well-known company slightly outweighed that of a friendly one.
One member’s response to what aspects of a job were most important was typical of
most: “I am not particularly benefits driven. I look for opportunities for career progression and a forward thinking company.”
A similar picture emerged when they were asked what factors would encourage them to stay with their current employer. Once again, career progression was most important, with promotion being the second most popular reason. The fourth most important factor
was money and perks such as pensions and