A recent survey published by Deloitte and Gallup indicates that 1 in 4 Millennials plan to quit their job in the next year. Why the rush out of their cubicles? According to the survey findings, the key areas of dissatisfaction is little to no development opportunities with their employers:

  • Regardless of gender or geography, only 28 percent of Millennials feel that their current organizations are making ‘full use’ of the skills they currently have to offer.
  • 71 percent of those likely to leave in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed.

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • In Deloitte’s survey, they found that Millennial parents are more loyal to their current jobs by a ratio of 4 to 3:

    “Millennials who are parents show somewhat more loyalty than those without children; 32 percent of the former intend to remain with their current employers for five years or more, compared to 24 percent of the latter.”

    When considering the cost of replacing employees, and the value added by someone with knowledge over such a lengthy period of time, investing in parent-specific perks is a hidden opportunity.

  • Deloitte found mentorship was a key difference for those intending to stay at their company for the long haul:

    “Those intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68 percent) than not (32 percent).”

    It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you have a mentor, it means there is someone to help ensure your growth and talk about your career.

  • A better work environment is key to retaining employees. What that means and identifying the gaps in your organization is important:Let’s consider a few of the greatest gaps:
    • Sense of Purpose: In the new world of creative knowledge work, Purpose is one of the 3 key areas for motivating employees according to Dan Pink’s research. His TED Talk is a must watch on the subject.
    • Professional Development: A theme throughout this study, and in many others is employees desire for growth. Yet, it’s still not happening nearly often enough. This post on SmartBriefs on Leadership helps explain why and what to do about it.
    • Personal Recognition: Praise, or its absence, has a huge impact on motivating employees. In just one example, a Gallup study found, “Employees who report that they’re not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.”

As we move closer to an economic recovery, managers should remember that career development begins with communication. What workers are telling us is that even during a recession, just having a job does not equate to job satisfaction. Employers need to be conscious of the concerns their staff is managing through on a daily basis and proactively come up with the appropriate solutions to improve retention and reduce the current and future high cost of turnover. Ignoring employees and their concerns will only incur their future wrath…and cost your organization.

Here are some tips to help to reduce feelings of dissatisfaction among your employees.

  • Make retention efforts more visible: Behind the scenes, managers may be doing what they can to retain their employees, but staff won’t feel valued if these efforts aren’t visible to them. Retention efforts begin through mutual dialogue and building trust. Managers should engage their employees in the realities of the business challenges to foster employees’ understanding of the market and competition.
  • Reward and provide reason: If increasing compensation due to the current economic climate is not possible, look to reward employees through an awards program or team contest. Improving morale just by recognizing good work can help ease compensation complaints. As the survey found, dollars and cents are not the only way to improve satisfaction, so be sure you are putting in the extra effort where extra investment is not available. In addition, employees benefit greatly by understanding the reasons behind lower compensation and how these short-term adjustments will help them and the company in the long run.
  • Communicate a growth path for employees: Managers should map out a growth plan for employees and communicate it to their teams. Employees will then understand that managers are invested in their future, and they’ll be more confident in investing their time and career with the organization. 


    Don’t ignore your employees, and you can reap the benefits of retaining your top performers and reducing turnover costs.