Why Millennials Job Hop
By Erin Godin
The term “job hopping” is anything but new. Lately though, it has become synonymous with the newest members of the workforce: Millennials. In the past, you would find one company, one career to pursue for your entire working life and retire comfortably. However, this is not exactly the career path of the modern young professional. In fact, one study found that 91% of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years. (From the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey. Check out their awesome infographic HERE)
Millennials chronically turn to greener professional pastures looking for fulfillment. Ironically, previous generations had higher levels of job satisfaction, job fulfillment and sense of purpose, while staying put in their company. So what is causing this generation not to stick with a company longer than a year or two before something bigger and better pulls at their heartstrings?
You Are The Answers
If you are a leader, there is one answer to the millennial job hopping epidemic: YOU. Adapting to the new rules of work and learning to engage your team will be key for leaders who intend to keep their millennial workers.
This generation did not ask for their social skills to be replaced with electronics and iPhones attached to their palms, just like their grandparents did not ask to struggle through the Great Depression. But that’s how it happened, and according to research from Forbes, Millennials will comprise more than
1 in 3 adult Americans by 2020 and 75% of the workforce by 2025. (See where I got this info HERE, and learn more.)
We can’t just pass over this problem forever. By 2025, 75% of the people you will have to hire will be Millennials. So let’s get this figured out.
What Millennials Really Want
What most Millennials won't tell you, is that they would love to stay with your company for the long term. Unfortunately, most leaders are missing the mark in terms of employee retention because they don’t understand what is driving Millennials to hop out the door. Employee loyalty is not cultivated by simply spending time and money on development courses elaborate incentives or expensive team outings. This generation may have their nose in their phones but they can smell the fake funk from miles away.
Trying to manipulate your team into staying will only lead you down a spiral of disengagement and on-the-clock job searching.
Having worked extensively with this very mobile workforce, I would encourage you to stop trying to educate your Millennials into staying, or attempting to buy their loyalty, and start genuinely having each team member’s best interest at the top of your mind.
One of the Millennials that worked for me, right before she job hopped said, “My soul is lost and I just don't like the feeling.” And just like that she was gone.
News flash to all leaders, Millennials are NOT job hopping, they’re soul searching.
Millennials Are Soul Searching
If you have ever taken a drive down Soul Search Avenue, then you know it is a lonely, difficult road. These wonderful humans are seekers at heart, looking for answers, real meaning, fulfillment, purposeful work, and a vibrant life.
You don't have to be a millennial to lead a millennial, you just have to know what they are searching for and help them find it.
Leaders can't stop Millennials, like previous generations, from souls searching while on the clock, but they can aggressively learn how to stand by their side and help them seek. Getting involved in your Millennial’s life as a mentor, or being willing to give spiritual guidance and help them live in alignment with their values may not be in your job title. But it allows them to seek without having to leave your company to find their truth.
How to Retain Millennials Worth Keeping:
This word is thrown around most companies like a hot potato. Everyone wants to hold on to that title of “mentor” for a while until it gets too hot. As a leader, your job is to get the best performance out of your human resources, and mentorship is a great approach to doing so.
Most leaders ask, “how can this team member make an impact on my business.” True mentors ask, “how can I make an impact on this team member?”
Your job as a mentor is to help your employee see that what they value is welcome at their job. That they don't need to leave to be fulfilling their purpose.
Use these 5 Mentor Questions to jumpstart the thinking of your mentee. By helping them on their road to self discovery - and inviting them to examine how each answer can inform the way they do their work - you prompt them to bring all of their best to work with them. Engaging their hearts and minds this way is the foundation for drawing excellence out of them, while enabling them to experience fulfillment and satisfaction.
- What makes you laugh?
- What breaks your heart that you want to help change in the world?
- What do you want to be known for here?
- What's your dream?
- How can we help you get there?
I know your whole business will collapse if we say anything about faith or a higher power. But before you start running, hear me out.
Elizabeth Lesser, the co-founder of the largest adult education center in the United States defines spirituality as “the seeking of truth.” Bestselling author Jack Canfield defines spirituality as “the real need for all of us to reconnect with the essence of who we really are.” You don’t have to bring any specific religious beliefs into play in order to lend some much needed spiritual guidance to someone you want to invest in.
Help those in your care move closer to their truth. Your team may need assistance developing a certain skill, transitioning into a different role on the team, or finding a better career to suit their strengths. This may be a little more than you signed up for as a leader, but for better or worse, this is where this generation is at. Millennials are seeking their truth and if you can take the time to stand by them and offer the guidance they are craving you just might get that loyalty you have been looking for.
The best definition of alignment that I have found so far is “the position of agreement.” True alignment means your actions and your heart are agreeing - they are saying “this feels right.” Alignment is that feeling in your gut when you know things are moving and shaking in the right direction. If you have an aligned team you have a unified team, you have an engaged team and you have a team that is inspired to work for you.
To help create an aligned team you have to know what your team believes and help them see the connection to what your business believes.
After attending Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Academy a few years ago I was lifted. I came home with a new sense of awareness, increased motivation, a plan to put my goals in motion, and even better - about 20 new best friends. A few days after my return, I had dinner with a close friend. So elated to talk about my trip, I began to babble on and on about my experience. My friend just looked at me and said “Did you meet any losers? You know those people that just seek and seek seek and look and look and look and they spend their whole life looking for something but never really find anything or do anything.”
A part of me was livid at her statement and a part of me was terrified she was right.
The truth is that people who look and seek ARE lost. Our Millennial job hopping generation for the most part are lost and seeking.
Because they were born in a digital, disconnected world they cannot rely on experience, tenure, and the security of a safe retirement fund to feel like they lived a full life. They are desperately trying to figure it out by seeking and looking everywhere - including other jobs.
A Special Kind of Leader
I believe now more than ever they need leaders who are willing to lead with empathy and understanding. Leaders who will show this generation that what they are looking for is already inside them. If we help our teams find their own light they will want to keep seeking under our watch instead of the next “best job.” Leaders who will do the real work to help mentor their team, give spiritual guidance, and help them get into alignment in their role, will discover real loyalty and a thriving business. Leaders who don’t will get job hoppers and disengaged followers.