How to Keep Millennial Employees from Job Hopping

Young woman with colleagues in the backgroundMillennials are a firmly-entrenched part of today’s workforce, and their presence is expanding: Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by year 2030. Statistics like this make it essential for your clients to understand this group of employees and what it takes to keep them engaged.

Millennials bring valuable skill sets to any work team: they’re tech-savvy, social media experts, skilled at multi-tasking, and collaboration-oriented. But for all the great skills this generation brings to the workforce, they also carry a reputation for job hopping. In fact, the average millennial will change jobs every two years.

This job-hopping phenomenon among workers ages 18 to 30 is mostly an exploration of different industries and roles to help millennials figure out what they ultimately want to do. While this exploration provides millennial workers with a wide variety of valuable work experiences, and contributes to the development of unique skills, it can be costly for employers who haven’t planned for this frequent turnover or implemented policies that may keep millennials engaged for longer periods of time.

What are millennials looking for?

Before your clients can implement practices to keep millennials engaged, they first need to understand what this generation of workers is looking for.

Meaningful Work — Millennials are looking for job roles that allow them to make a difference and be a part of something bigger. Millennials are interested in opportunities that allow them to contribute to a company’s success in a meaningful way and to contribute to society as a whole.

Professional Development — Millennials seek opportunities that provide training and skills development to allow them to continue to grow and advance in their careers.

Workplace Flexibility — Millennials have a strong focus on work-life balance. Positions with flexible schedules and workspaces, and other perks like telecommuting options and unlimited vacation, are very attractive to this group of employees.

[sidebar width=275]Learn more about millennials with these helpful HR Support Center resources

  • Article, “Workplace Flexibility: Trends and Insights”: Millennial employees need flexible and innovative workplaces to thrive.
  • Article, “Multi-Generations in the Workplace: Making Differences a Workplace Asset”: How millennials contribute to a generationally diverse workforce and mitigating challenges with millennial workers.
  • Training On-Demand, “Meet the Millennials”: Overview of the millennial generation, how they approach work differently than any preceding generation.


Engaging millennial employees

Understanding what millennial workers are looking for is the first step to uncovering and implementing policies that keep them engaged and increasing retention. While even the best policies may not be enough to stem the flow of job-hopping millennials, there are a few best practices your clients can follow to best utilize or increase the time they do have with this group of employees.

Improve On-boarding — Engage new employees, starting on their very first day. Make it easy for them to become part of the team and to seamlessly integrate into the company’s culture.

Create Partnerships — Approach the employer-employee relationship as forging a partnership, where the employer invests heavily in their millennial employee’s success, and the employee commits to working towards a mutually meaningful goal.

Develop Employees — Provide training and skill-building programs for employees, allowing them to continuously learn new things and grow their skill set. 

Plan for Succession — Create succession plans — particularly for departments with a larger number of millennial employees. Make sure to document “institutional knowledge” or information stored “in the mind” of employees. Be sure to capture employees’ knowledge of the industry, procedures, clients, market data, and any other relevant information that isn’t officially documented.

As millennials continue to make up a growing percentage of the workforce, the job hopping tendency of this generation of employees will become the norm instead of the exception. You can help your clients mitigate this trend as much as possible by helping them understand what millennials are looking for and how to engage them. HRAnswerLink provides resources for you and your clients to make the most of the time they have with their millennial employees — and possibly to keep them engaged for longer.

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