We’re all aware of the stereotype that Millennials don’t stick around a single workplace for too long. A Gallup poll from last year revealed that “six in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities,” and that 21% of the Millennial workplace has changed jobs within the last year--that’s more than three times the rate at which the rest of the population switches jobs.
Many companies throw their arms up and claim there’s nothing to be done about “job hopping,” but smart employee retention specialists know that they’ve got to address Millennial flight now to preserve a stronger workforce in the future.
Below, we’ll address some of the most common reasons Millennial workers seek new jobs, and what companies can do to combat them.
As per the previously mentioned Gallup poll, only 29% of Millennials feel engaged in the workplace. That means the majority are disengaged or actively apathetic to your company’s cause.
It might seem easy to brush “engagement” off as some kind of corporate buzzword, but in reality, lack of employee engagement can cause serious repercussions across the entirety of a company. If people aren’t engaged, they’re less efficient in their work habits and have the potential to spread toxic attitudes within teams. In its worst case scenario, a lackadaisical attitude can lead to mistake and accidents that affect both the safety and bottom line of the company.
So, you’ll want to make engaging your Millennial workforce a top priority in the office. Consider this: Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce by 2025. The “engagement” issue is not going away.
One element to consider when boosting employee retainment is implementing a system of consistent feedback and development. Millennials are often indifferent to their day to day, meaning, they’re not sure how their work or growth fits into the big picture of the company.
For most Millennials, it’s not so much the work itself that makes them leave their current positions, but instead the missed opportunities to grow and learn within the company. Managers need to prioritize consisted feedback models with their Millennial employees. Consider a weekly meeting or living document where feedback and be catalogued and addressed.
To some, this feedback model may sound like a lot, but it doesn’t need to be as formal as traditional employee reviews. Making a habit of providing advice or feedback on a regular basis will improve performance, and create a communication structure that keeps Millennial workers engaged in daily work.
A more intentional step beyond development is finding opportunities for continued education and training of Millennial employees. According to Gallup, 60% of the Millennial workforce is interested in different job opportunities. We tend to think of that statistic as a desire to leave the current workplace, but in reality, it shows a Millennial desire to find a path to growth--whether it’s in his or her current company or a future opportunity.
Encourage company opportunities for growth and learning. Focus on fostering an environment where people can see themselves beyond the day to day and in the big picture.
We know Millennials want to be passionate about what they do, but they also respond well to a workplace that is passionate about them. Take time for recognition at work. Prioritize positive feedback in addition to constructive criticism. Skeptics will think this is a play for self esteem or hand holding, but consider it positive reinforcement. It’s not a pat on the back or a nice card, it’s a critical part of developing leaders in the workplace.
You need to let employees know what they have to work on, but it’ll also help to let them know what they’ve done well. This positive communication helps boost engagement, as well as retention, in the workplace.
Let’s face it, the office as we know it is changing as the Millennial workforce grows. With this changing of the guard, some office practices will have to change as well. Focusing on employee retention, at the end of the day, is going to save a company from losing time and money with the search for new employees, or hiring a disengaged workforce that’s ultimately, unproductive.
Looking for more ways to improve employee retention or disect employee morale? Book a free consultation with one of Ace-up's Business and Executive Coaches. They're the best in their fields, knowledgeable on a variety of industries, and some of the leading experts on talent management.