Retaining Millennials Is Expensive

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How much? 150% – 250% of someone annual salary.

That means the ROI in providing workshops, training & coaching completely outweighs firing someone.

Sounds good, but you don’t have the time, energy (or desire) to deal with it?

Get some ideas here or bring this program to your company!

The Case of the Disappearing Perks

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Poof. Free food, gym memberships and laundry service are disappearing from the startup culture. Why?

The bottom line: profitability rules. Pair that with a halt in venture funding and something has to give (or go in this case).

For a while, particularly in the Silicon Valley, VC’s and Angel Investors were investing left and right, but now the frequency has slowed down. It’s hard to speculate why because the reasons differ for each investor, but it’s the trend moving forward.

What effect will it have on the job market?

Retention. Expect an exodus of younger employees to larger companies, not so much because of the disappearing perks, but what “rewards” represent. In life, you don’t miss something until it’s gone. If you never had work perks, you don’t miss them. But if you have perks taken away from you, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Couple this with the average job tenure of Millennials being 3 years (in my opinion it’s much less than that) and the startup bubble begins to burst.

Yet the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (ever turn grass over?). With a decline in entrepreneurship for young professionals it signals a smarter worker. Millennials want to have their cake and eat it too (who doesn’t?). Corporate jobs aren’t so bad as long as they don’t completely eliminate your personal life.

In an earlier post, I mentioned lifestyle is the new passion, which means work is a means to an end. Perks help, but ultimately things like: purpose, career advancement and a pay raise matter more.

This isn’t to say perks don’t help retain workers, they do. But on the bright side, companies with a strong mission/vision don’t need them as badly to keep talent around. Admit it, luxury items such as perks come and go through cycles, but stripped down to the core: meaningful work matters most.

The #1 Reason You’ll Leave Your Job

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The #1 reason why you’ll leave your (current) job is: lack of career development a.k.a. growth opportunities.

From first glance there’s an assumption that includes a promotion, but not necessarily. The need for career advice is on the rise because most people don’t know what they want to do and/or they change their mind often. Blame social media or a plethora of options, but regardless its reality. Let’s start from the company’s perspective:

Why should we invest professional growth resources into employees who might end up leaving?

First response: efficiency. Back in 2008-09 when the recession started, the first thing to go was “luxury” items such as training. Jobs were being cut drastically and our economy went in the tank. The only job that was safe was: sales (gotta make money to stay in business). If you want people to perform better, they have to be trained. Some companies take the shortcut by hiring “experienced” workers then throw them in the fire. That’s one approach, but even if they know the skill set to accomplish the work, the culture is still a mystery. The reason most leaders micromanage is because they never train people under them properly. Part of career development is training on the job (feedback included) and figuring out if the role is a good fit. If it’s not, here’s the perfect segue into the next point.

Second response: saves time/money. If you’re concerned about pouring into an employee, then having them leave, don’t. If you had someone working for you and they didn’t want to be there wouldn’t you want to know earlier than later? Hopefully this gets caught during the interview process, but if it doesn’t training only reveals it. If you’re working for a company who invests in your professional growth, wouldn’t you be more motivated to work harder for them? This may sound too altruistic, but most people’s performance starts to decline (outside of personal issues) when they feel undervalued/under-appreciated. Practically speaking, helping people navigate their career path will provide clarity for the individual as well as the company.

In simplistic terms, here’s the equation: if my company takes care of me, I will take care of their customers.

Great customer service = brand loyalty = higher profits.

The most direct way to take care of people is invest in their career growth.

This is not a futuristic concept. This is current.

Retention is tied directly to career development, or lack thereof.

Scott Asai is a speaker/coach that has been developing leaders for 20+ years – athletes, companies and individuals. His focus is helping people develop leadership skills to advance in their careers. Scott tends to attract a large audience of Millennials and Introverts to his programs/events. His professional background consists of: B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Certified Professional Coach and Certified Strengths Coach.