Why Millennials Are Fleeing Your Company

Twenty-something’s have frequently jumped from job to job. But with older Millennials entering their mid-thirties, it is becoming increasingly clear that more than youthful restlessness is to blame for the generations’ – which now makes up the largest segment of the workforce – job-hopping.

Results from Deloitte’s fifth annual Global Millennials survey of college-educated young workers suggest many are leaving because they don’t feel like their leadership skills are being developed. Business Insider: “As many as 63% of respondents said their leadership skills are not being fully developed. And it seems to be a key reason behind their willingness to leave: While 71% of those likely to leave in the next two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed, that number drops to 54% among those who are planning to stay beyond 2020.”

The survey found that even Millennials in management are willing to bolt from their current firms, an expensive prospect for companies.

Bloomberg reports: “Millennials currently represent the largest share of the U.S. labor market. As they climb the ranks of management, their flightiness could cost companies. In the Deloitte survey, 12 percent of respondents either had board positions or were department heads, and of that group, 57 percent planned to switch jobs by the end of 2020. Losing and acquiring new employees is costly, even more so for management jobs, said Vip Sandhir, the founder and CEO of HighGround, a company that makes employee engagement software. Companies including Patagonia, Allianz, and Echo use HighGround’s services to solicit constant feedback from employees that will keep them involved enough in their work to want to stay. Deloitte, too, invested $350 million in its own Deloitte University, a 700,000-square-foot learning facility in Westlake, Texas, that—among other things—links 65,000 employees with personal mentors to keep them on a Deloitte-oriented career path.”

Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany and an Entrepreneur contributor, agrees that mentoring is key and also laid out four other tips for developing employee’s leadership skills in a recent Entrepreneur piece:

  1. Urge employees to network: “Networking can help turn good employees into great leaders by raising their reputation within the industry.”
  2. Supply employees with opportunities for growth: “These opportunities for growth can include paying for formal education, internal or external training, bringing in industry professionals for lunch-and-learn programs — the options are endless.”
  3. Construct a feedback loop: “Meeting on a quarterly basis and discussing individual goals and performance can help employers identify opportunities for development, as well as tailor development plans around the individual. These meetings also give employees a chance to comfortably voice their thoughts and concerns.”
  4. Lead by example: “Model the leadership skills employees need to adopt in order to become great leaders: professionalism, transparency, confidence, commitment and respect. Employees look to their employers for answers, so leaders should aim to continuously model what it is to be a successful, positive model in the workplace. It doesn’t cost a dime and the results are priceless.”

But a Washington Post article points out a more fundamental challenge many companies will face when trying to offer Millennials leadership opportunities: the flattening out of management structures at many firms.

The Washington Post: “The practice of “flattening” organizational hierarchies — a way of improving efficiency by stripping out levels of bureaucracy, cutting costs in the process — has removed from many companies the ability to climb rungs in a corporate ladder, which used to serve as a primary motivation for high performance. “The biggest driver of disengagement is people feeling like they’re stuck in a job, and there’s nothing for them there,” says Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at the Arlington-based CEB Inc., which surveys employees and corporate leaders annually. “It’s easier to quit your company and find a new job than find a new job within your own company.” If they don’t get a new job elsewhere, they might just stick around, doing just enough to not get fired — a meaningful drag on productivity.”

For more, Entrepreneur previously published this infographic via Bentley University on “What Millennials Really Think” at work: