Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace report included the shocking fact that 51% of all employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings. Plus when it comes to millennials, 6 in 10 are open to changing jobs and almost a quarter of them already changed jobs in the past year.
I had to pick my jaw off the floor when I read those stats! Unlike previous generations, millennials have unprecedented access to information and don’t feel stuck with limited options when it comes to their job. It's also culturally much more acceptable now to leave a job when things aren’t working out.
The question then becomes, what's causing millennials to become disengaged at work? There are many reasons, but here are three of the most common, along with ways to counteract them in the workplace.
Many people have heard the saying, “People don’t quit a company, they quit their boss.” It’s a statement that's proved true for generations. The difference with millennials is that they don’t think twice about leaving when a situation gets worse. The internet has opened their eyes to a world of possibilities and they no longer feel stuck in any given role.
It's more crucial than ever to invest in building a team of emotionally intelligent, supportive, and insightful managers. In fact, we recommend rethinking the role of a manager completely. If that’s too big of a leap, you can consider investing in training and development programs that will help your entire management team navigate what can be a difficult job. This small investment can pay dividends when it comes to retaining incredible talent.
No Clear Purpose or Direction
There are few things more frustrating at work than not knowing what you’re supposed to prioritize. One day a specific project is urgent, only to be pushed aside by a new “urgent” task the following day. It can easily start to seem like you’re putting out fires just for the sake of it, instead of working towards a shared outcome.
Luckily, this is easily remedied. All it takes is some good old-fashioned planning! We recommend scheduling a planning day with your team every quarter. These sessions allow you to step out of the day-to-day chaos, take a look at the big picture, and proactively plan your next 9o days. Whether you come with the large goals prepared, or you choose them together with the team, taking this day to slow down and plan will not only help you speed up but will also keep your team more engaged and aligned.
Lack of Flexibility
More and more often, talented employees are leaving behind their 9-5 for the freedom that comes with freelancing. They crave the ability to structure their days how they please, instead of clocking specific hours during which they may not be more productive. If nothing else, they want to feel like adults and be able to schedule doctors' appointments, pick up their kids, and make it to a workout class when it’s appropriate.
This is perhaps the easiest change of all to make – and it starts with you. Outside of letting your team know about the new, more flexible approach to work hours, you need to start walking the walk. As you know, actions speak louder than words. Until you start acting on the new policy, no one else on your team will.
To happier employees,
Want to learn how to build an intentional employee experience at your company?
Learn more from the Want to Work There Podcast here!