As more and more Baby Boomers are heading into retirement phase, younger generation of Millennial graduates are joining and dominating the workforce. Given that Millennials have a reputation for switching between one job to another, business leaders are forced to scramble in finding out how to retain their young employees and keep them away from jumping boats.
It has been a common knowledge that Millennials are known to showcase different characteristics than their predecessors such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, including in the workplace. In contrast to the former generations that prioritised career stability and financial security, today’s younger generation of workers prefer to devote themselves for a passionate and meaningful job.
Owing to this reason, Millennials are notorious for being job hoppers because they do not hesitate to change jobs when they feel unfitted to the current ones. But is this stereotype true? Do all Millennials lack of loyalty, engagement, or work ethic to their job?
Every leader must have realised the high cost the company have to pay when an employee resigns. When a staff leaves the team, you do not only have to spend extra money, time, and energy to hire new people and provide onboarding for them, but also lose the investments you have spent for that employee’s training and development. Not surprisingly, high volume of volunteer staff turnover is a big challenge for the current workforce.
In 2016, a study by Gallup revealed that Millennials is the most likely generation to switch jobs, with six in ten Millennials (60 percent) are open to new job opportunity. Not only that, Millennials are also considered as the least engaged generation in the workplace, as the survey found a staggering 93 percent respondents saying that they left employers to seek for new roles. Gallup noted that 36 percent Millennials are willing to move to a different organisation in the next 12 months if the job market improves, compared with 21 percent non-millennials who said the same.
While these statistics might show strong evidences that lead to the conclusion of Millennials being avid job hoppers, it should be noted that this data did not account for the age of their generational groups. It is quite imbalance to compare young people of the Millennial generation to the older people of non-Millennial generations within the same period.
Study by Pew Research tried to disclose this gap by referring to data on job retention by the U.S. Department of Labor and found that Millennial workers are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X were when they were young adults. The reality is, among other college-educated generations, Millennials have longer track records with their employers than Generation X workers did in 2000 when they were the same age as today’s Millennials.
The study reported that in January 2016, 63.4 percent employed Millennials (those born between 80s and 90s) said they had worked for their current employer for at least 13 months. Meanwhile, in February 2000, only 59.9 percent Gen Xers who were 18 to 35 year olds reported similar job tenure. Looking at young workers with longer tenures, 22 percent Millennial workers had been with their employer for at least five years as of 2016, similar to the share of Gen X workers (21.8 percent) in 2000.
What do these figures mean? The data revealed that Millennial’s job tenure is no shorter than that of prior generation. This implies further that the younger generation’s loyalty or engagement is not lower than the older generation. That is to say, job hopping is not something that is exclusively done by Millennials, but rather young people of all generations.