The question can throw you for a loop. “Why are you leaving?” You know it…
By Sarah LaFon
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
The transient nature of Millennials can’t be any surprise to you. Even Deloitte says in a recent survey that two out of every three Millennial employees hope to be working for a different employer by 2020. When you’re facing those headwinds, how do you craft an environment that fosters loyalty and stability?
Part of my job is talking to restless employees. Here’s what they sometimes tell me about why they are looking for a change:
- “I want to try something different.”
- “I just need a change; I want to explore my options while I’m young.”
- “I want to live in a bigger-city/specific-city.”
There’s not much you can do to counteract their reasoning here. Sometimes, a person is determined to explore other options and frankly, that might be the best thing for them.
Here are some other common responses, though, that open the door for steps towards retention.
- “I’ve done some looking around, and I think I’m being paid below-market.”
- “I was hired to do ‘X’, but now I mostly have to do ‘Y’.”
- “I’m not crazy about my manager; they don’t really mentor me or invest in me.”
- “I want to develop my skill set further, and I’m not getting that opportunity here.”
- “I want more flexibility – a better work/life balance.”
- “I want to move up the ladder faster.”
- “I tried to initiate some type of business development or get more involved with clients, and I was shut down.”
Pay and financial benefits are the top factors driving Millennial choices of employers. No matter how well (or not) you are paying your staff, trust me: they are looking at websites and asking around, trying to figure out how their salary compares to the market. This is a good issue to head off at the pass. Do your own research on salary comparison, and prepare to discuss it when giving out reviews/raises. The information that is available on websites your employees will find isn’t always accurate. And, if you happen to pay less than your competitors, what are you offering in return? Better work hours, more flexibility, more vacation, a faster promotion track, etc? Make a point to tell them!
Get frequent feedback from your staff on what they like or don’t like about their job, and consider how you can allow entrepreneurial steps from even the lowest-level employee. There are few things more discouraging than the feeling that one’s ideas or contributions are dismissed or overlooked. Having a supportive boss/mentor is one of the top ways to maintain job satisfaction. And above all, the basic principle that overrides everything: People want to feel valued. If you are doing your best to show appreciation, that will go a long way towards keeping the employees you have.