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Keeping Millennials Engaged At Work

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Millennials, are you ready for new job opportunities? Do you find yourself lacking the desire to be loyal to your current company? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Research by Gallup last year concluded that Millennials are the biggest job-hopping generation. At least 60% of us would jump ship if given the chance.

Gallup found that 60% of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity — 15 percentage points higher than the percentage of non-millennial workers who say the same. Millennials are also the most willing to act on better opportunities: 36% report that they will look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months if the job market improves, compared with 21% of non-millennials who say the same.

So why is that number so high when most other generations tenure at companies would last years and years rather than months? It could come down to the fact that most Millennials just don’t feel engaged in their work. The emotional connection to the work they’re doing just isn’t there.

Not engaging millennial workers is a big miss for organizations. The millennial workforce is predominantly “checked out” — not putting energy or passion into their jobs. They are indifferent about work and show up just to put in their hours.

job hunting

© Flickr user Anne Worner

I can speak from experience on this topic. The 2008 recession hit around the time that I was really starting to make a long term commitment with a career. Up until then, I was working part time jobs and just figuring out what the heck I wanted to do with myself. Seeing as how I skipped college, I really needed to figure out what my goals would be. What used to happen would be that you could get your foot in the door with a company and work your way up through the ranks. I could apply to a job online and would be surprised if I didn’t get a call or email back for an interview. Jobs were plenty. Once the recession hit, everything changed.

Those entry level jobs were inundated with resumes from people who had been laid off and were looking for anything just to survive. You would see men and women who worked in upper management taking these kinds of jobs. Times were desperate, especially for those of us who were just dipping into the workforce. Suddenly, you were competing against college graduates or career professionals with years of experience. You had better been on top of your job alerts because by the end of the day, a new job listing would easily have hundreds of resumes to go through.

So rather than taking the time to find a job within a company that was a good fit for you, you were going to interviews and nodding your head about how passionate you were about cold calling about carpet cleaning services, cashiering at toy stores, or becoming a dog washer. If that sounds oddly specific, well, those are just a few of the jobs I can say that I had. I hated every second that I worked in those positions and always had my eye on the next job that would hopefully make me feel less dread every morning that my alarm clock went off.

Sadly, most of us are still dealing with this struggle and are working jobs we took just because we had to. Luckily, things have started to turn around and the job market has looked better and better every year. As that happens, many organizations need to realize that in order to keep your employees happy, they need to start providing incentives to stay. Otherwise their employees will always be on the lookout for the next best thing.

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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