Millennials (“Generation Y” ages 15-35) are now being called the “turnover generation,” because over the expanse of their careers they will hold 15-16 jobs. This turnover rate is costing businesses, like convenience stores, billions of dollars.
On average, the cost of turnover is 21% of every employee’s annual salary. The cost of turnover for Microsoft alone is estimated at $681 million.
A survey-based study released this week aims to keep Millennials happy and reduce turnover by uncovering important aspects of keeping them in the workplace. The study is the first in an upcoming series performed by the pricing survey company Atenga Inc. in collaboration with generational expert and Sundance award winning film director, Josh Tickell.
“These studies are unique because they compare and contrast the habits and attitudes of baby boomers (born 1946-1964) with those of Millennials,” said Per Sjofors, CEO of Atenga.
The first study reveals that while Millennials share many of the same values in terms of significant life choices to their baby boomer counterparts, Millennials are lacking support at work in the areas of Mentorship, Purpose and Self Expression.
Millennial respondents, 67% more than baby boomer respondents, reported that “having a great mentor” at work is important. Study co-author Josh Tickell said that “formal mentorship programs have sprung up in a number of fortune 500 companies as part of their onboarding process, so it’s no surprise that Millennials want mentoring as part of their job.” A workplace in which the generation with experience and knowledge fails to provide mentoring will be a rocky place to work for young hires. This can lead to turnover.
The study found that companies must to work harder to make their work purpose-driven. Respondents from the baby boomer generation said they were 67% more interested in making more money than doing good. However, Millennial respondents weighed making more money on par with “doing good.” Millennials entering the workforce are significantly more purpose-driven than members of their parents’ generation. If work has a greater social purpose, they are more likely to stay.
In nine separate categories of items that could express individuality, Millennials showed they value self-expression up to eight times more than baby boomers. Companies with strict anti-tattoo policies, strict dress codes and strict policies against “personalizing” one’s area of work are a no-no for keeping young people at their jobs. Today’s workplace (like Millennials themselves) is about customization, individuality, and choice.