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Why Millennials May Be Thinking of Leaving Your Company

It’s good business to think about the retention of top employees. But a recent survey indicates that Millennials are job hopping fairly frequently — and those who do frequently leave positions aren’t made happier by it.

According to the firm O.C. Tanner, almost 25% of Millennial workers are on their fifth job. That’s a lot given that Millennials even at the top of the age range are just in their 30s. Sixty percent have worked in 2 to 4 places.

Why They Leave

It’s not unusual for young people to move from job to job early in their career as they find a fit. But Millennials who move express feelings of underutilization – as well as feeling like they are stagnating, stressed, and bored.

More importantly, perhaps, according to the survey, the moves in organization and positions did not relieve the problems. O.C. Tanner suggests that a large percentage of Millennials are not connecting meaningfully, either with their companies or with their managers.

Millennials who had held jobs at 5 to 7 organizations were more likely to say that they didn’t trust their managers (34%) than Millennials who had held jobs at 2 to 4 organizations (28%) or 1 organization (20%). Of Millennials who had held 8 to 10 jobs at organizations, 41% didn’t trust their managers, and 48% of Millennials who had held jobs at more than 10 organizations didn’t trust their managers.

Among other findings about Millennials who had held 5 to 7 jobs? Thirty-one percent cited a lack of goal-setting in their organizations and 48% indicate that the organizations they’d been in thought only about profits.

The 60% of Millennials who had held 2 to 4 jobs weren’t that happy either. While just 27% cited a lack of goal-setting in the organizations, 43% thought their companies thought only about profits.

In addition, 45% of Millennials with 2 to 4 jobs under their belt felt they were stagnating in the workplace, 41% felt bored, and 46% felt underutilized. Forty-two percent felt that their jobs created negative stress in their lives, and 36% felt it had exerted negative health impacts.

Millennials need to feel appreciated and well-utilized at work.

How to Keep Them

As the industry publication Human Resources Dive points out, lack of engagement is serious business, especially in a hot job market. The costs of disengagement on the job are estimated to be $450 billion to $550 billion annually in the U.S. Disaffected employees can move easily in a good economy, and business productivity can suffer as a result.

As O.C. Tanner observes, companies need to counteract Millennials’ perceptions by taking an active interest in increasing their engagement. It’s good business strategy.

Some methods? A crucial one is to recognize employee contributions and open meaningful career paths. Open communication with business leadership can also buttress and enhance employee engagement.

Human resources departments and top management should also take an active interest in Millennials and their perceptions of the workplace. They are currently the largest demographic group in U.S. workplaces and are expected to remain so for some time to come.