Though job-hopping is a fairly common practice these days, millennials are clear leaders in that particular arena. An estimated 43% of younger workers say they plan to leave their current jobs within the next two years, according to Deloitte's seventh annual Millennial Survey.
Why the mass exodus? It boils down to a number of key factors that employers must grow more aware of. Otherwise, they risk losing key talent at a time they can't afford to.
1. A mismatch in ideals
One major reason why millennials are looking to jump ship at work is that only 48% believe their companies behave ethically, while just 47% think their company leaders are committed to helping improve society. Much of this sentiment ties into a major factor in employee satisfaction today -- company culture. Companies that appear to put profitability over employee satisfaction are more likely to lose younger workers who'd rather work for businesses that promote diversity and prioritize career development.
2. Insufficient pay
Ideals aside, millennials want to feel like they're being paid fairly. In the aforementioned study, 63% consider pay very important to their overall satisfaction, and understandably so. After all, we all have bills to cover and financial obligations to meet, and without a well-thought-out compensation strategy, companies risk losing younger workers to more generous competitors.
3. Absent flexibility
Flexibility, or lack thereof, is another driving force behind millennials' decision to leave their jobs. While 55% of millennials say their companies are more flexible today compared to three years ago, nearly half of younger workers don't feel that they're given more leeway at present. It's no wonder, then, that so many millennials are drawn to the gig economy. This way, they get to continue doing work they love, but in a manner that helps them achieve a better work-life balance. In fact, only 17% of younger workers whose jobs aren't flexible plan to stay on a long-term basis.
Retaining talent in a competitive market
If you value your younger workers and consider them an integral part of your staff, it helps to address the above issues to avoid losing key talent. For one thing, think about your company's mission and culture, and how they relate to the way you treat your employees. If there's a misalignment, it's time to sit down with your management and HR teams to brainstorm on ways to improve worker satisfaction.
Next, invest some time into researching salary data for your industry, and rework your budget if you find that your staff is largely underpaid. At the same time, explore your options for offering workers more flexibility. That could mean allowing some folks to work from home, or allowing others to set their own hours to better align with their personal needs and obligations. Keep in mind that if you're able to improve in one of these two aspects, it might compensate for the other. For example, if you're unable to budge on salary due to budgetary constraints but you're willing to be far more flexible with scheduling, that could be enough to retain your younger staff members, at least on a medium-term basis.
Losing talent means facing a potential workflow disruption. It also means having to invest time and resources into filling open slots. If you'd rather your business not have to deal with that in the near term, be cognizant of millennials' sticking points and take steps to address them. Otherwise, you risk losing a large chunk of your workforce to better offers or the lure of the freelance lifestyle.