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Reality Bites Part 1: How Millennial Job Hopping is Forcing Changes in the Workplace
By Dr. Nicole Scott, People Strategy Expert

Recently, I have attended a handful of seminars on hiring and managing Millennials. I have been struck by the perceptions about Millennials that I hear discussed in these gatherings; it is as if their wants and needs are really all that different from the rest of us. Many of us, who are now seasoned professionals, remember the struggles climbing the ladder. We had to or are still waiting our turn to get the next promotion. But what if we did away with the outdated notion that we have to stick with the same employer forever?
Who do those Millennials think they are? They have to wait their turn…pay their dues. Instead, they job hop. In fact, they hop every two years on Average according to a Monster.com article . They have no work ethic at all!
Sound familiar? I thought so.
We business leaders have two choices. One, we can continue to gripe about the “lack of work ethic”, “job hopping” and general state of reality, or we can choose to deal in reality and change our mindset. If we choose to deal in reality, this series of posts is about a few lessons we could learn from our younger co-workers.
Job Hopping – It is everything it is cracked up to be.
What used to be seen as an indicator of a low quality candidate has become a norm especially for the Millennial. Why? Well, overall job hopping is profitable for the employee. Gone are the days when the employer has the upper hand and all employees should be thanking their lucky stars for the jobs they have. A 2014 Forbes.com article reported that those employees who leave a job after two years are rewarded with an average 10% – 20% wage increase, while those who stay can expect only an average of a 3% wage increase. So, unless you want to make less money, it might be time to brush off that old resume and get to it! The Millennials seem to have figured this out quite quickly.
Business leaders have two choices. We can begin to look very critically at how we compensate and reward our top performers in order to design compensation strategies that do not force longer term employees to choose between leaving money on the table to stay or grabbing that cash by leaving. Or, we need to accept that job hopping is now the norm and address reality.
Job hopping is also having an impact on how we view recruitment and retention. Don’t forget. It is becoming a job seeker’s market right now, so job seekers do not have to settle for a traditional work schedule or work place. We all should be taking a critical look at how the work to be done is structured. Ask yourself these questions: Does the work have to be done during ‘regular business hours’? How much collaboration can we advertise to the highly social and collaborative Millennials? How should we be changing our internal communication systems and our expectations?
Ask yourself – what does your company offer that is appealing to the Millennial and to the workforce in general? Base Pay is the number one attractor across all generations followed by job security and career advancement (for all but the over 50 crowd – they want a good challenge at work). Number 4 for those between the ages 30-39 is learning and development opportunities. Those over the age of 40 are looking at the reputation of the organization.
How does your organization stack up against the competition in these areas?
Let’s not overlook the fact that all that job hopping means the Millennials…and those of us Gen Xers who have been waiting a very long time for the next promotion…might not have to wait in line anymore. Just saying….
Dr. Nicole C. Scott, SPHR holds a Doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and is available for consulting engagements in HR/Talent/OD Strategy, Organizational Culture and/or Change Management. She can be reached at nicole.scott@agile-edge.com or via LinkedIn. Check it out http://www.agile-edge.com!