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Yes, it’s definitely true. I’m one of them; those terrible Millennials, AKA Gen Y...
With that stated I would love to polish up the image that pops up in your head when I say Millennials. But before I do, let’s dive in some stats...
Here’s how Forbes describes my generation:
"Millennials have a reputation for job-hopping. Unattached to organizations and institutions, people from this generation -- born between 1980 and 1996 -- are said to move freely from company to company, more so than any other generation."
Hard to argue with that. According to recent studies on millenials by Gallup, 6 out of 10 of us are open to new job opportunities, moving from job to job quickly, which has led to high and rising employee turnover costs when recruiting in our age bracket. Let’s not even talk about our average level of employee engagement (which is a staggeringly low 29%!)
And, in all these ways, I am very much a product of my generation!
At the beginning of my career, there always seemed to be a certain cycle:
Starting a new job, very enthusiastic, highly motivated and extremely engaged in my new job. Loving to talk about what’s going on and why we would do it, even boring my relatives about the details. Always on time, working my *ss off and earning some good money with it!
But then, always, it comes around again. That nagging feeling. It usually starts somewhere between 3 to 6 months. The engagement level decreases. I start to wonder if there is more. Is this the job the right fit? Will it be something I still like to in a year’s time? And are we even on the right lines anyway? Until recently, most of my jobs ended this way. Whether that was due to some sort of hunger for more, sheer boredom, or maybe just a curiosity for other (new) things in the job-market… I don’t know.
Recently something changed: After a short “in-between” break during a warm summer (see, how millennial is that!), I started working at Speakap. There, I discovered new ideas, interesting views on working styles and the sort of ethics I’ve never experienced before. From that moment, I started to be an engaged employee - but this time, I’ve stayed engaged. Here are a few things that made the difference for me:
- Clear company goals: When it comes to increasing engagement, everyone needs to be aware of what the company stands for and where they want to be in that. When I knew this, I could decide how I saw my role. I know and own what I need to do to get there.
- Open culture: Everyone has their own skillset, everyone adds value. There is no need for a dusty company hierarchy, and sometimes the best ideas come from the silent minority.
- Communicate clearly: Having a platform for everyone to share ideas, empower each other, celebrate successes and communicate internally made it really easy to connect with everyone in my organisation.
- Employee freedom: Being able to make my own mistakes and being treated as an adult is incredibly powerful. Getting out of my comfort zone is easier and encouraged, and it also makes my work feel more challenging.
- Being taken care of: We spend a large part of our lives in the office and with colleagues. Why not make it enjoyable? Having a nice lunch, a good place for some relaxation at work, a grocery service where you can get everything you need. All these things made me feel welcome and comfortable.
- Being with FUN people: This one doesn’t need much of explanation, right?
So yes, I’m still a millennial, a true Gen Y’er. But no, I don’t have a lack of engagement, and I don’t feel the nagging need to get a new gig. And I think there’s a lesson in that for employers everywhere.
Get to know your millennial employees; try to challenge us; let us know how we can be a part of your organisation.... it just might lead to us staying! Or some even greater things :)