Reducing Voluntary Turnover Among Younger Workforce

Nearly a quarter of millennials changed employers within the past year, earning them the title “job-hopping generation” by Gallup. The latest survey of the American analytics and advisory firm showed that 55% of millennials leave due to low employee engagement.

However, Forbes’ Larry Alton believes that the trend of switching jobs among millennials is simply the characteristic of young people entering the workforce, who are coincidentally the millennials of this generation.

He cites a study by Pew Research comparing the track record of millennials and Generation X workers when they were the same age as millennials today.

Pew’s year 2000 survey showed that 60% of Gen Xers (then aged 18 to 35) stayed with their employers for at least 13 months, very close to the 63% of millennials surveyed in January 2016 with a similar tenure.

Meanwhile, another survey of over 1,000 mid to executive-level managers belonging to the millennial generation in the US showed that 75% of millennials believe changing jobs helped them advance their careers.

Career experts think that’s just fine. In fact, they say finding a new employer at least once every four years is actually advisable. Find the Fire author Scott Mautz says that employees should find a new job if they believe that they can no longer draw inspiration from their company.

These new beliefs pose as challenges to businesses in light of the high cost of turnover, which can be worth around a third of a worker’s annual income, based on the Work Institute’s findings. It is also estimated to cost the American economy $30.5 billion yearly, according to Gallup.

Reasons Why Millennials Leave

Low Engagement

Respondents to the latest Gallup survey said that employees of this generation primarily leave due to a lack of employee engagement. They want to find work that makes them feel they are contributing something worthwhile.

Burn Out

About 45% of millennials often feel burned out. Around 28% say that their burnout is due to increasing expectations from their employers and clients, pervasiveness of technology, higher living expenses, and debt.

Insufficient Feedback

As previously mentioned in one article, this generation—and even the succeeding Gen Z—thrive in a work environment where teamwork and feedback flow freely.

Millennials constantly stay in touch with people through online tools and companies should provide similar communication channels for these digital natives.

What Millennials Look for in a Job

Millennials look for more than a source of income. They want to achieve a sense of satisfaction that comes from the following factors:

Avenues to learn and grow

When it comes to what they want in a job, millennial respondents in one survey said that 59% of them look for organizations where they can constantly learn, grow, and achieve new things.

Sense of purpose

Millennials are attracted to organizations with a clear and meaningful mission. Sixty percent of millennial workers said they don’t plan to stay in their position for another year because they are unaware of how their company makes a difference and what it advocates.

High-quality management

Millennials consider their jobs as their life so they want to be associated with “quality management” and “quality managers.” In addition, managers reportedly make a 70% difference in the kind of employee engagement that occurs within the organization.

They want to work for organizations that are pro-performance development, where managers act like coaches, instead of pro-performance management, which is a command-and-control managerial style.

US companies can lose $960 billion to $1.2 trillion in productivity from poor management resulting in disengaged employees.

Ongoing conversations

Millennials are interested in frequent feedback about how their performance. Gallup found out that performance reviews, which are normally held just once a year and may only touch more recent employee issues, encourage only 14% of employees to do better.

Strengths development

Millennials want to be part of a business where they have a chance to do what they do best. They are inspired by leaders who identify their strengths and hone them instead of obsessing over their weaknesses.

Furthermore, business teams that get strength-based development achieve 10%-19% growth in sales and 14%-29% growth in profits, according to Gallup’s research.


Half of millennials in the workforce heavily consider windows of advancement when applying for a job. This is usually in view of outstanding university or college loans that need to be paid and their low net worth when they apply for work as new graduates.

Ways to Keep Your Millennial Workers

Ensure effective recruitment.

Career specialists say that employee retention among millennials begins in the hiring process. Screening and recruitment teams should consider career goals, industry-specific skills, and soft skills of millennial job applicants instead of just their GPA, college major, and experience.

Once hired, a company’s onboarding program should help new hires move easily and quickly from job orientation into their actual work.

Establish the core values and culture of your company so that they have a sense of your organization’s vision and environment early on.

Then help them develop their social connections faster by introducing them to team members, sharing company jargon, and including them in team-building exercises.

Beef up manager-employee relationships.

Managers are responsible for cultivating a positive experience at work that motivates millennial staff to stay with their companies longer.

Retention experts advise conducting evaluations from employee to manager and manager to employee on a quarterly basis. Provide development and training opportunities in improving manager-employee ties whenever necessary.

A 2018 report by TINYpulse, a firm specializing in retention management, said that personnel who aren’t at ease giving upward feedback are 16% likely to plan their exit strategies.

Make them feel recognized and appreciated.

Millennial workers tend to jump ship if they do great work but aren’t recognized for their efforts.

In fact, twenty-one percent who feel under-appreciated for doing an excellent job applied for work elsewhere in the last three months.

Offer work-life balance.

Millennials value work-life balance more than a salary raise. TINYpulse shares that they are 10% more inclined to stick with a company if it gives them that option.

Define and optimize your company culture.

Organizational cultures can be categorized into eight types, depending on “people interactions” and response to change, according to Harvard Business Review: purpose, results, learning, authority, order, enjoyment, safety, and caring cultures.

Identify which type of culture your business has and use it as a foundation to build a more millennial-friendly environment.

Provide perks

Some benefits that might appeal to millennials include point-based perks that can be earned through individual, group, or company-wide accomplishments.

Staff can redeem points for free transportation or groceries or vacation packages, a technology spending account to select their own productivity tools, health and wellness options, and flexible holidays.

Build their careers.

Millennials aren’t always looking for annual promotions, but they do desire to know what they’re working toward. New growth opportunities may mean a challenging project where their skills can grow.

TINYpulse also shares that businesses that make their staff feel that they are progressing are 20% more likely to enjoy their loyalty for another year.

Millennials are vital assets to organizations that offer an environment where they can discover their potential and fully develop their skills. Businesses that ensure they are continually challenged will win their loyalty and are likely to bring other more millennials into the fold.