In today’s rapidly growing and evolving economy, it’s more acceptable than it was even a decade ago for employees to move quickly from job to job. However, a new study commissioned by Bridge, an employee development suite for businesses, from the makers of Canvas found that nearly 90 percent of millennials are looking to grow their careers within their current companies.
“Millennial employees are looking for something different in their jobs, beyond good compensation,” said Emily Foote, VP of Customer Engagement for Bridge. “They aren’t satisfied with routine promotions or pay bumps; they want opportunities to learn, develop new skill sets, and grow into leaders. Organizations that create learning environments are rewarded with employee engagement and loyalty.”
Employees Are Loyal to Companies That Provide Career Growth
In 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the labor force. As of 2017, 56 million millennials were working or looking for work—more than the 53 million Gen Xers and well ahead of 41 million baby boomers.1 Yet despite the culture’s increasing acceptance of “job-hoppers,” young employees actually defy that stereotype. Bridge survey data finds that offering career training and development would keep 86 percent of millennials from leaving their current position. Fifty-six percent of millennials believe that an individual should stay at a single company for more than 20 years. However, if that job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67 percent of millennials would leave that position.
Better Feedback Loops Needed
In terms of receiving feedback about professional growth, a third of surveyed employees do not believe performance reviews are helpful. This supports the growing idea that there is a need for workplaces to revolutionize performance management. What’s more, 78 percent of Gen Xers believe that performance reviews do not provide them with meaningful growth opportunities, and that performance reviews are just a way for companies to “check a box.”
When asked to grade how performance reviews are handled, some things span generations, with 42 percent of all employees saying they would give their employers a C grade or below. Finally, more than half of Gen Xers believe that performance reviews are onerous and rarely result in positive change.
The survey findings, prompts the following tips to help engage employees:
- Hold frequent employee check-ins. Millennials want more frequent feedback, but according to a Gallup poll, only 15 percent are actively asking for it. Being proactive about giving feedback on the managerial end can encourage engagement while ensuring that employees are receiving the feedback they crave. The same study found that millennials who meet with their manager regularly are more than twice as likely to be engaged at work.
- Align individual goals to company and team goals. When managers create tangible goals for their teams that support the larger company vision, employees are more connected to the bigger picture. Not only will this make the review process more focused on metrics, rather than intangibles, but employees will stay engaged throughout the workday when they have meaningful, attainable and structured goals to reach.
- Cultivate a culture of continuous learning. Creating a workplace that promotes career development is important for everyone, including millennials who rank training and development higher than cash bonuses as a priority in the workplace. By making career training and e-learning a priority, employers can ensure that the youngest generation of employees are engaged, focused and continually honing their skills.