The “Four Generations in the Workplace” discussion (see my blog on this from a few years ago) continues to be one of the hottest topics in the ever changing diversity and inclusion field. Even as the discussion really does need to focus on the various advantages each generation brings to the workplace, and how the best companies know how to build strong teams across all generations, Millennials still get a bad rap from many. I often hear comments like “I hesitate to train these young employees since they will leave within a year.” OK – I hear you, but I ask, why do millennials frequently job hop, and what are they looking for in a job?
My main point: Millennials truly desire organizations that offer them personal growth and flexible career opportunities and advancement, and if more companies invested in their younger employees, they may actually stay for the long haul!
Let me provide data from two studies.
First, Gallup Inc. has done an extensive workplace study across the generations, and issued a superb report called “How Millenials Want to Work and Live.” The Gallup study shows that only 29% of currently employed millennials are engaged at work, significantly lower than the other generations. But perhaps the issue is not “these slacker millennials,” but instead companies not providing the right value proposition for millennials in the workplace. Some key points the Gallup study makes include:
• Millennials are not just working for a paycheck, but looking for purpose in their profession.
• Millennials are not just looking for job satisfaction, but personal development.
• Millennials don’t want bosses per se, but coaches who help them grow and improve on the job.
• Millenials do view their job as an integral part of their lives.
A second study which was presented at a conference I recently attended comes from “Ultimate Software” and “The Center for Generational Kinetics” titled “Is There Really a Generational Divide at Work?” (Link to download the study.)
Though the study highlights many different aspects of generational differences and similarities in the workplace, I will focus on the career and personal development aspects. They include:
• 45% of millennials would quit a job if they didn’t see a career path they wanted at the company.
• 42% of millennials want feedback from their superiors at work, which is double the other generations. And most frequently, they seek the feedback so they grow professionally.
• One statistic consistent across all generations – 33% of employees knew whether they would stay long term or not at their company after being on the job for one week or less.
Both these studies underscore the importance of skills and career development in the workplace, especially among the millennial generation. Some of my clients using my innovative career mapping process have verified this point – when they present an overview of career development and potential at new employee orientation, it is met with resounding enthusiasm. Providing a robust system to assist employees with career development is a key tactic to increase employee engagement and retention.
Please contact me today for more information on the Total Engagement Career Mapping Offering and to set up a call so we can explore how this offering could fit within your organization.