Is job-hopping bad? Although job-hopping is not new, companies fear that business will suffer because of it. Unfortunately, job-hopping is a common phenomenon. It is a trend where professionals change their jobs regularly and willingly. And it seems as if those who are job-hoppers can’t quite settle down somewhere. There seems to be no stability or certainty for them.
Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, have the reputation of job-hopping. People from this generation are said to move freely from company to company, more so than any other generation. A Gallup report on the millennial generation revealed that 21 per cent of millennials say they have changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who have done the same.
“For millennials, it is more a matter of career exploration than climbing the traditional ladder,” said Emily He, former SVP of human capital management at Oracle. “Research suggests that today’s college graduates will have a dozen or more jobs by the time they hit their 30s.”
Gallup also found that 60 per cent of millennials are open to a different job opportunity. About 36 per cent of millennials say they will look for a job within a different company if the labour market improves in the next 12 months, compared to 21 per cent of non-millennials who said the same.
The same goes for Generation Z. Born from 1997 onwards, generation Zers also job-hop and explore multiple positions, careers, and industries.
Apparently, according to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), there is even a huge difference between the number of years that a millennial and gen Zer stayed at a company. The median tenure of workers between 55 and 64 was 9.8 years, contrasted with just 2.8 years for workers between 25 and 34.
“Companies need to change the focus [of millennial hires] from ‘How long can I keep you?’ to ‘How much can we accomplish together?'” says Tom Turner, founding partner of digital forensics company DSi. “In a sea of adaptability and independent aspirations, empowering millennials to expand their connections past their own company can lead to a deeper, trust-filled employer-employee relationship, and millennials may think twice before jumping ship to another organisation.”
How to prevent job-hopping
Offer increased flexibility. The traditional routine of early mornings, lengthy commutes, and the added stress it imposes, particularly on millennials, can be quite burdensome. This compounded stress from work responsibilities can make adhering to strict punctuality the next day a less appealing prospect for many millennials. To better accommodate the needs of your millennial workforce, consider implementing a flexible schedule within your company. This adjustment allows millennials to work comfortably in the office for extended hours or engage in remote work without concerns about rigid next-day arrival requirements. As a result, they are likely to experience reduced fatigue, increased productivity, and a greater inclination to remain with your organisation over the long term.
Embrace cutting-edge technology. Millennials thrive when they have access to the most up-to-date technology, whether it's the hardware they use or the software tools at their disposal. It's akin to placing children in a toy store; they never want to leave.
Offer them the chance to preserve work-life balance. As the saying goes, 'All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,' and there's certainly a substantial amount of truth in this adage. It's well-established that an employee who dedicates all their time to work may not attain a healthy balance in life. It's essential to foster a life outside the workplace for your millennial employees. One effective approach is to implement flexible scheduling, granting them more time to attend to personal matters. Furthermore, the company should actively promote participation in team-building activities and social causes while instituting programs that boost morale and enhance motivation.
Foster a culture of collaboration. As millennials thrive in team environments, it's essential to nurture a workplace culture that encourages employees to collaborate and share their skills when working on projects. This not only fosters a sense of belonging but also provides them with opportunities to showcase their talents in a productive, cooperative setting.
Facilitate opportunities for advancement. Being stuck in a dead-end job is undesirable for anyone, and it's particularly crucial to avoid this situation for millennials. They consider this a potential deal-breaker that could lead them to seek better opportunities elsewhere. To retain millennial talent, it's crucial to establish a clear growth path that allows them to visualize their personal development and encourages them to stay and witness their progress.
Cultivate a sense of purpose. Millennials are inherently purpose-driven individuals. Motivate them by instilling a sense of purpose in their work, which can be a more potent driver than statistics, milestones, or even compensation.
Provide mentorship. Millennials highly value relationships with their employers, especially when they are built on trust and open communication. They thrive in creative and inclusive work cultures, as opposed to more authoritarian and rule-bound environments. To engage and retain millennials, consider offering mentorship opportunities that align with their desire for a supportive and transparent working relationship.
Nurture their strengths. Starting from the moment of hiring, your focus should be on unleashing an employee's full potential. The initial excitement of a new job may fade over time, but when your employees experience continuous growth and find themselves in roles where they can excel, they will consistently deliver their best work, extending their peak performance beyond the initial phase.
Clearly define expectations. While it may appear straightforward, numerous employers struggle with effectively communicating their expectations to their employees. This challenge arises because expectations go beyond merely listing job responsibilities. They encompass understanding the importance of prioritization in alignment with the company's objectives, recognizing the interconnections between one's role and those of fellow team members, and comprehending how individual performance significantly impacts the overall success or failure of the business. Ensuring that all employees have a comprehensive understanding of these expectations can help prevent them from feeling disoriented or lacking support.
Offer and accept feedback. Never assume that even your most tenured employees are beyond improvement or devoid of valuable insights. Your capacity to retain employees will grow significantly when you consistently furnish them with the feedback necessary for effective job performance. Moreover, when you invest time in attentively listening to their concerns and ideas, you foster an environment that promotes employee satisfaction and engagement.
With millennials and Gen Zers comprising the majority of the workforce, it's essential to shift our focus from their perceived limitations to understanding their strengths. Harnessing their distinctive talents involves providing a sense of purpose, offering flexibility, and refraining from stereotypes, all of which can foster long-term retention. To prevent their departure and encourage their continued dedication, it's crucial to design a customized program tailored to your company's needs. Consider investing in training programs geared toward effectively managing millennials and Gen Zers, guiding them toward the development of more productive work habits, and ultimately enhancing workplace efficiency. By leveraging their skills and persuading them to commit to your organisation for the foreseeable future, you can ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.