The war for talent is getting brutal.
It's becoming more and more difficult to retain staff these days, and recent stats are putting fear in the hearts of employers everywhere. A survey from Gallup found that 51 percent of employees are currently thinking about looking for a new job.
Millennials in particular are more likely to change jobs every few years, compared to their predecessors. Given that millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, it looks like retaining staff is going to prove a real challenge in the coming years.
Part of the reason why millennials are so prone to job hopping is that their priorities are different from Gen. X-ers and boomers. Millennials want more than just a competitive salary (how dare they!). What they're really searching for is purpose and meaning, progression and knowledge. If a job isn't challenging enough for a millennial, or if they feel they've learned all they can, they won't hesitate to move on.
At the end of the day, change isn't good or bad – it just is. There's nothing you can do about it. You can either choose to move forward with the times or remain stubbornly behind. Moreover, employers are so caught up in the fear of high turnover rates that they are blinded to the positive effects of this phenomenon.
Yes, there are positive effects of high turnover. Here are a few:
1. Fresh Staff Means Fresh Ideas
New staff members come in and shake up old, worn out routines that aren't working. Many companies stick with certain strategies longer than is necessary. They get comfortable and stop changing with the times. Often, these companies aren't even aware their processes are outdated until someone new comes in and forces a change.
Employing someone with a varied and vast background in their chosen field allows you to explore how other companies – possibly in the same marketplace – are doing things. You can learn from your new staff as much as they can learn from you.
2. Employees With Low Motivation and Engagement Will Move On
After working for one company for a long period, we all are at risk of getting bored. The new-job itch starts to kick in, and once that happens, you won't be performing to the best of your ability. Everything becomes second priority to finding that new, perfect job. Accepting that employees with this mindset will be moving on is a great step toward keeping your team motivated. A new hire is often far more involved and willing to work harder.
3. Turnover Creates Incentives to Perform Well
As I said above, new hires tend to involve themselves more. By creating the correct culture within your company, you can breed passion and creativity among old and new staff. Excitement and a desire to exceed expectations drive new employees to perform to their absolute best, and employers can take advantage of this.
There are pros and cons to everything, and change is no exception. Ultimately, however, it doesn't really matter. Change is going to happen anyway, whether you like it or not.
Perhaps we'll see the current trend go full circle. The restless millennials may change their tunes in a few years. Perhaps by 2030, those same millennials will be more attracted to job security and comfort. It's hard to say. Only time can really tell!
In the meantime, there are measures we can all take to ensure we are at least fully aware when a staff member is considering moving on. It can be useful to be prepared for this situation. That way, you can speed up the process of finding a new member of the team who is equally as talented. Stay interviews are a great way of keeping up-to-date with employees' feelings, and they can help you spot warning signs of impending turnover ahead of time. Stay interviews also strengthen the relationship between employee and employer, which is what we're all striving for, really.
At the start of this article, I said that change isn't good or bad. It just is. It might be inappropriate for me to quote the popular musical Hairspray in relation to staff retention, but you know what? I'm going to do it anyway: "You can fight it, or you can rock out to it."
Which do you choose?
Katie Harrower's current title is marketing executive at Youmanage HR Ltd, but she's considering taking on "scribe" as her preferred choice.