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How Long Will Your Employees Stick Around?

Two major shifts are underway in the workplace. These shifts will change not only the landscape of your company as it is now, but also how much longer your current employees will continue to work for you.

The first shift is coming from the Baby Boomers on your staff, as they are beginning to look towards retirement in the masses. According to an article featured on MSN Money “Recession Behind Them, Boomers Retire in Droves” the number of Baby Boomers who are leaving the workforce has taken a huge leap in the last two years Bloomberg reports.”

Why is this happening? “Things have gotten better for many people. Bloomberg says: Household wealth in the U.S. climbed by $2.95 trillion in the final three months of 2013 to an all-time high. Average 401(k) balances almost doubled from 2009 to reach a record $89,300 last year, with 78 percent of the annual increase due to the stock market rally, according to Fidelity Investments, the U.S.’s largest provider of 401k retirement assets. For pre-retirees 55 and older, the average balance was $165,200, Fidelity said.”

Well we all knew this day would eventually arrive. The day when some of your most experienced and valued employees would be retiring and leaving the company. But now your company will be hiring new employees who will aspire to work hard and grow with the company, just like the baby boomers did. You can count on these employees to be sticking with the company for quite some time right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, the newest Millennial that you hired will most likely be leaving the company in about two and a half years. According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey, of the 1,189 employees and 150 managers surveyed, ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. A similar result was found in a survey taken by PricewaterhouseCoopers late in 2011. The results found that only 18% of Millennials expect to stay with their current employer for the long term.

There are many dynamics that Millennials look for which encourage them to stay with their employer for the long haul. According to the Forbes article “7 Surprising Ways To Motivate Millennial Workers” written by Jenna Goudreau, steps to motivate include “prioritizing community service”, “offering more flexibility”, and “giving them more personal projects”. All of these steps are highly effective in ensuring the Millennials stick around, but many times what we forget is that Millennials are a generation fueled by relationships. In order to keep them around for longer than three years, employers must develop deep relationships with them, which allows them to feel valued and appreciated. Some of the other steps listed in this article included “giving encouragement and regular feedback” and “providing education and professional development.”

If Millennials feel as though you are invested in them and their well-being, they will be invested in you and the company’s well-being. In another Forbes article “Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now A Priority”, author Josh Bersin states “High-performing companies spend more. Companies which fall into our ‘high-impact’ categories spend significantly more on training than average.  So companies who invest in a total L&D strategy spend more per employee than those who are inconsistent. This shows that L&D spending pays off. All our research on corporate talent shows that global leadership gaps continue to be the most pressing issues on the minds of business and HR leaders. As Millennials take on more responsibility, companies need to build leadership skills at all levels and in all geographies around the world.”

While many companies typically provide functional skills training, they often do not provide the crucial social intelligence skills that are more likely to help people engage with their companies for the long-term.  Investing in Millennials now will enhance the company culture and create a happier workplace, but will also boost efficiency and longevity in their stay with your company.

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