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By Martin Berman-Gorvine
Jan. 19 — Millennials are strikingly unattached to their jobs, an international survey has found.
No fewer than two-thirds (66 percent) of the 7,692 millennials in 29 countries surveyed online by consultancy Deloitte in September and October (including 300 from the U.S.) expect to leave their jobs within five years, and one-quarter (25 percent) expect to do so within 12 months, the report released Jan. 12 says.
In the U.S., 64 percent of millennials plan on changing jobs by 2020, according to the report, which limited respondents to those born in January 1983 or later, with a college or higher degree. More than three-quarters of the survey respondents work for private-sector organizations, predominantly large ones with more than 100 employees each.
“This remarkable absence of loyalty represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of millennials, especially those in markets—like the United States—where millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce,” the report noted.
This is partly due to failure on employers' part to groom younger workers for advancement, the report said. “Even those millennials in senior positions express the intention to leave their organizations relatively soon. In this current survey, approximately one in five respondents are either the head of a department or division (12 percent) or have a position within his or her senior management team or board (7 percent),” and yet 63 percent of all millennials surveyed told Deloitte their “leadership skills are not being fully developed.”
“The good news is that it's not too late to earn millennials’ loyalty,” Deloitte spokesperson Christine Selph said in a Jan. 20 e-mail to Bloomberg BNA. Tips she offered include:
Michael Rochelle, chief strategy officer and principal human capital management analyst at Delray Beach, Fla.-based consulting firm Brandon Hall, which was not involved with the survey, concurred on many of these points in a Jan. 19 interview with Bloomberg BNA. But, he cautioned, there's no “silver bullet” that can improve retention of millennials.
“It's a combination of a lot of things. Millennials want to be part of an organization where they can perpetually learn and develop,” he said. “Organizations need to stand for things other than the products and services they sell.” This involves both being a “good corporate citizen” and offering an “employee value proposition,” he said.
Other things millennials seek, in Rochelle's view, include:
In the final analysis, it may not be possible to hold onto millennials for many years. “You can't get offended if they're there for two years,” Rochelle said. “This is a high-potential, high-powered group. You can't take them like a wild horse and break them. You have to give them a big enough yard to run around in, which is hard for some organizations.”
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