Your millennial employees may have their eyes set on a new job, according to a survey from Bankrate.
Bankrate surveyed 1,000 American workers about their salary, promotion history, and career plans. A quarter of the respondents say they’ll look for a new job in the next 12 months. Younger millennials, ages 18-27, are the most likely age group to say they plan to find a new job, according to the survey.
But employers need to worry about more than millennial turnover. U.S. workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers, writes Roy Maurer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.5 million people, or 2.3% of the total workforce, left their jobs voluntarily in October. The last time the voluntary quit rate was that high was in April 2001, notes Maurer.
“It’s no secret that the job market is tight. With unemployment under 4 percent, there are ample opportunities for employees to jump ship and look for another job that might offer better perks or salary,” says Allison Betancourt, vice president of people strategy at Addison Group.
Employers might have to do more than raise salaries or offer new perks to retain their workers. Career development, work/life balance, and manager behavior are among the most common reasons employees quit, according to a report by the Work Institute.
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Why is it so important to understand and reduce turnover? Replacing employees is expensive, and a high degree of “churn” can bring down morale and performance, according to the Work Institute. On average, each lost employee costs an organization roughly 33% of that employee’s base pay.
As a first step to reduce preventable turnover, leaders should look at their onboarding process. First-year employees account for 40% of all turnover.
“Employers need to set more-realistic expectations and follow through to deliver on those expectations to improve retention of new hires,” says Danny Nelms, president of the Work Institute. “Employee feedback should be solicited, and onboarding and other training should be evaluated to better understand where employers are not meeting the expectations of newly hired employees.”
Managers should also help new employees understand the opportunities for growth at the organization. For example, you can let new employees know about the paths their predecessors took, how they grew in the current role, and what kinds of roles they went on to.
“A clear career trajectory with guidance on how to achieve goals is [something] current employees look for in a company,” says Betancourt. “If you don’t invest in them, how can you expect them to invest in you?”
She adds that offering employees learning opportunities will help show you care about their professional development. “It shows that you want your employees to be on top of industry changes and trends. From coaching sessions, training programs, lunch and learns and more, it’s crucial to an organization’s retention efforts to be providing these opportunities on a monthly or bimonthly basis” (Maurer, SHRM, 12/12/18; Smith, Bankrate, 12/12/18).