Has employee loyalty become an oxymoron? Engagement and retention surveys show many employees – especially Millenials – don’t plan to stick around much longer than a couple of years. The Deloitte 2016 Millenial Survey found that 44 percent of those who have been at a job for two years would quit if given the choice. And in case you’re thinking that this only reflects those who are just a couple of years out of college, I have bad news. The survey also found “even those Millennials in senior positions express the intention to leave their organizations relatively soon.“
Here are some more scary facts:
- 55% of Millenials are not engaged at work
- 31% of leaders at organizations with 100+ employees are currently looking for a job at another organization
- 41% of employees said they would need to leave their current employer in order to advance their careers
- Replacing valuable employees is costly (up to twice the departing employee’s salary), drains resources, and lowers productivity.
What is going on? What about all the foos ball and ping pong, massage chairs and nap-pods, free snacks and on-site gourmet cafes that are supposed to attract and retain employees? They can and do attract top candidates, and to compete in this tight talent market, they can also give your company an edge. Employees do enjoy these perks – who doesn’t love a free massage? Unfortunately, some organizations focus so much on fun lifestyle perks that they forget about the old standby benefits that every employee, regardless of generation, wants and needs to stay engaged and productive at work.
So what do your employees really really want? The same things that employees have always wanted:
- To be paid fairly for a job well done
- A positive, safe organizational culture with a healthy work/life balance
- Engaging and challenging work
- Opportunity, and management support, for professional growth and development
As a learning professional or team leader, the last bullet is obviously where you come in. Talk to your employees, find out what they actually WANT to learn, and how they think it will positively impact their job performance and the organization’s success. Discuss their career goals and show your support for their professional growth by creating a plan together, and allow them to carve out time dedicated to learning. Training opportunities aren’t limited to courses, so include things like mentoring, job shadowing, special projects that allow them to try out newly learned skills, and professional association workshops and peer groups. If your budget allows, give them a small budget to signup for training sites such as Lynda.com and Udemy.
You can’t stop an employee who really really wants to leave, but by demonstrating through action that your company supports its employees’ development goals, you will see a marked improvement in engagement, loyalty and retention.