Why Millennials Leave

We Won’t Pay For Your Lexus, Boss Man!

We have written about millennials several times, and there’s a reason for that. We promise. Not only do some of us here at Peoplescape identify with the millennial label, we have been subject to the stereotypes placed on our colleagues (and at times ourselves). You know the ones: Millennials are fickle, they never settle in one place, they’re selfish, and they don’t care about the companies that they work for – always in search of the next big thing. While these stereotypes may be true of SOME millennials, they can also be applied to baby boomers and Generation X’ers. So let’s flip the switch a little bit and see why millennials are dumping you, their managers and companies who simply don’t get what these youngsters are after! Elizabeth McLeod penned a note to management in Forbes.com recently. What do you think of these millennial breakup lines? #millennials #careeradvice #multigenerationalworkforce

Dear John….it isn’t you, it’s me. No, but really, it’s you. Here’s why I’m leaving:

1. You put up with low performing employees. This doesn’t work for us, because millennials are driven. We want to make a difference and be top producers. The low-performing employees that you hang on to for loyalty’s sake are slowing us down.

2. You are too focused on money. While we aren’t opposed to working hard, we aren’t going to do it simply to pay for your new Lexus. We want our work to make a difference, and that is bigger than the bottom line dollar.

3. Company culture means something different to us. We don’t want free meals (we’ll take them, but we don’t necessarily want them or need them to motivate us!). We want a manager who is a leader, who wants to inspire us and challenge us to think outside the box.

4. You treat people like a number. We are people. We have thoughts and ideas and opinions and feelings. If you treat us like a cog in the wheel, we will show up for the paycheck, but don’t expect the top producers who you hired. This isn’t fun for us, and work is supposed to be something that we can engage in. Show us why our work matters, and be an example to all of us.

After reading these points, doesn’t it seem like the millennial next door to your cubicle might not be that different from you after all?

Succession Plans: Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go!

We are all familiar with the small Mom & Pop companies that don’t have any real HR departments in place, lack procedures and documentation, and basically do what they’ve been doing because “hey it works for us!” As an HR professional, this is definitely not the recommended path for our clients and blog readers! No matter the size of the company, HR is necessary. The same can be said for succession plans and career development. Without a plan in place for what happens if someone leaves the company abruptly, or health concerns take a beloved long-term employee out of the office for months at a time, you are opening your business up for failure. Why not take a proactive approach and train your junior-level employees so that should a succession plan need to be implemented, you already have the training and groundwork underway? #successionplans  #careerdevelopment

Authors Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni are both successful businesswomen and leaders who have penned a book about the how-to’s of career coaching and development. Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go is a straightforward guide for CEO’s, managers, and leaders to implement strategies in the workplace to foster growth in employees, encourage career development, adopt succession plans that allow for cross-training, learn the duties and responsibilities of colleagues and utilize the talent within your employees to build a strong and confident team approach.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “succession planning is a means for an organization to ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity.” Combining this definition of succession planning with the tools suggested by leaders such as Kaye and Giulioni in encouraging career development amongst all levels of employees will allow companies to be prepared in the case of necessary organizational change.

At Peoplescape, we would suggest a team training followed by mentorships, pairing up a greener employee with a more seasoned employee, and allowing them to share ideas and learn from each other. We truly enjoy helping companies grow and working with them on their organizational development plans. Follow us on Twitter  @PeoplescapeHC or Like us on Facebook at Peoplescape Consulting to see our latest tips and ideas on how to improve your career development plans!

5 Reasons Employees Leave Too Soon

As a manager, when you see that resignation letter cross your desk, what thoughts go through your head? Is it a gift you’ve been waiting for, finally seeing that problematic employee headed out the door? Or is it your worst nightmare signed, sealed and delivered on your desk at 8:00am on a Friday morning? Here are a few reasons why employees leave a job too soon (and ways that you as the employer can prevent it from happening at your organization!)

1. Changed his or her mind on job type (new hire wasn’t clear about the job duties to begin with…or maybe unsure of their own career path)

2. The work didn’t accurately match their expectations (the job ad was not clear or left too many “duties as assigned” unanswered until the job began)

3. Boss was a jerk (don’t be a jerk!)

4. Didn’t receive enough training (don’t throw new employees to the wolves too soon!)

5. The job wasn’t fun (aka the job wasn’t what they expected – job description unclear or the interview team sold the new hire on a job that doesn’t exist)

One way to avoid this type of early departure is to make sure your employees are provided with onboarding from start to finish. We specialize in new hire orientations, onboarding, and fun seminars to get your employees excited and involved. But, if you aren’t ready to give us a call, we’ll offer these tips to all of our blog readers because we like you.

1. Provide on-the-job training – do not tell a new employee to do something without showing or explaining or supervising or shadowing. Training means a supervisor or trainer is present. Be there. Answer questions. Don’t leave the newbie alone for too long. It scares them.

2. Take the time to review your company policies and handbook with each new hire. This can be done as a group orientation or one-on-one with the manager.

3. Take the new hire on a walking tour of the company. Introduce him or her to team members, the front office staff, security guards, and the bathrooms. These are important pieces to feeling welcome and comfortable in a new environment.

4. Make sure the equipment for each new hire works. Email set up, telephone extension in proper working order, etc.

In a nutshell, invest in your investment to reap the rewards!

Onboarding is often forgotten with the excitement of a new hire, because the recruitment and screening process itself can be so demanding and time-consuming. Instead of taking a break after you sign the offer letter, take the proper steps to make sure your new hire is set up for success plans to stick around, otherwise you’ll be back to the drawing board much sooner than you’d like.

Why is Employee Retention Getting Worse?

Today the average worker’s tenure is just 4.4 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees at about half that.”

– Seth Ollerton, www.decision-wise.com


I remember as a kid, we would visit my dad at work on his lunch break, or stop by to say hi on our way home from running errands. My dad’s workplace was a familiar place for all of us, because he has been employed at the same employer for over forty years. He’s switched buildings a couple times, but has held the same role in the corporate office in the same city for a large majority of those forty years. My dad instilled in us his extremely high work ethic, but also taught us that there’s a generational difference in the way we view work, and the way his generation views work. Loyalty is a big thing for the baby boomers, while the boomers’ kids (millennials, Generation X, and Generation Y) are looking for a career that provides personal fulfillment, growth, and opportunity to learn more throughout their career. Because the baby boomers were more likely to grow up with less than ideal circumstances, they over-parented their millennial children, and sacrificed their happiness for security when it came to career paths and company loyalty.

While this personal tidbit may not strike a chord in all of you, it is an accurate anecdote to the reality of employee retention in 2015. Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case.

  1. The economy is hot, and only expected to get hotter in the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job openings exceeded number of hires in May 2015. This mean there are more jobs available than are being filled. Great news for job seekers, because they can be picky. Not so great for employers, because candidates can be picky! Top talent will go wherever they choose….so employers have to work to attract those candidates.
  2. Millennials (adults ages 18 – 34 in 2015) are now the largest group in the workforce. Scary, right? If you said no, and you’re a small business owner, you may want to rethink that answer. Millennials expect to stay in a job for no more than three years, which means if you want to keep them around, it’s your responsibility as the business owner to attract and keep their attention. Need ideas on how to do this? Contact us today and we can guide you on the key factors for your organization to retain your talented yet difficult employees.
  3. Mobile job searches are taking over – is there an app for that? If not, chances are your company may be missing out on top talent. Mobile recruiting, mobile job applications, and mobile screening processes such as interviews are becoming critical to the technology-obsessed job seekers of 2015. This is a trend that is only expected to continue and become bigger over the coming years.
  4. Non-traditional side incomes are becoming more and more popular, so the traditional nine-to-five jobs are not becoming as necessary or prominent for a portion of today’s workers. From bloggers to Etsy shop owners, to distributors of health care and beauty products. Today’s worker has options!

So what can you do as an employer to attract and keep your talented employees? Make your company an attractive place to work, and speak to your audience. For specifics on how to build a high quality selection and retention strategic plan into your business, give us a call, we’d love to help!

How to Equip Yourself to “Employer-Parent” Talented Millennials

You know who they are. The one with his ear buds permanently attached to his ears, or the girl with twelve pieces of jewelry on her right ear alone who refuses to wear what you consider to be “business casual” attire.  Or maybe it’s the nerdy guy with glasses and messy hair whose face you’ve never really seen because he’s always in front of his computer or cell phone; never separated from his tools of technology for even a moment while at work. Oh, and they are always late or right on time. Whatever happened to being on time and prepared? Sitting at your desk at 7:45 a.m. ready to start the 8:00 a.m. day? Does it seem they require attention or tasks at all times, always in motion — on the go, ready for the next thing?

Even if you are a small business owner, among your dozen or so employees, the chances are good that you have at least one Millennial employee. How can you best equip yourself to “employer parent” this individual so that he or she is an undeniable asset to the team, rather than a distraction or irritant to your more seasoned employees?  A starting point is to understand Millennials better. Millennials are loosely defined as ages 18 to 34, with age 23 being the largest demographic within this segment of this population.  Be forewarned that the “catch-all” label of Millennials is not a concept its members strongly identify with.  Yet, credible studies of this age group do reveal the common social, economic, and technological factors that have shaped their lives and forged their values.  Due to the sheer numbers of Millennials and their expected longevity in the workforce, it is essential that employers understand the largest and most diverse segment of our population taking their place in the business world.

[tweetthis]Millennials: Equip yourself to “employer-parent” this talented group.[/tweetthis]

A high percentage are children of immigrants. As a group they are economically stressed, many more of this generation compared to previous ones live with their parents. They have decreasing opportunities at home ownership. They are very educated, but collectively have amassed a trillion dollar student loan debt. They still value education – more so than their European counterparts who have been demoralized by poor economic conditions.  Millennials are masters of technology and social media, value family and work-life balance.  While plenty of employers complain about lack of loyalty and short tenure of Millennials, their feedback often indicates a willingness to stay longer in their jobs given more purposeful work.

One of the most interesting pieces to the Millennial puzzle is the mistaken notion that they hate to be managed. They actually require it. This is due in large part to the way they were parented at home – millennials are essentially spoiled. And it’s ok for me to say this, because I myself am one of those temperamental, reactive, seemingly impossible to manage millennials. We are a generation that was over-parented. We didn’t play outside without supervision, we were raised by the more affluent boomers (who were parented much differently by their Depression-era moms and dads) and were often rescued by our parents when faced with trials or obstacles. Essentially, we are a generation of coddled guys and gals, told that our opinions matter and we are free to express ourselves within boundaries that are much wider and broader than the ones our own parents faced.

Now that you regret hiring millennials even more than you did before reading this, let me tell you the good news! There’s hope! Millennials may require a little bit of parenting at work, but once they are managed and coached correctly, the sky is the limit because along with our spoiling came a sense of pride in our own success, a drive to achieve and a knack for technology. We crave direction, but at the same time, would like a little freedom to make decisions for ourselves. It’s a tricky combo, but one that could lead to great organizational success for small business owners who master the managing of millennials.

Christine Hassler, renowned speaker on the topic of generational differences in the workplace specifically focusing on the millennials, argues that millennials do in fact want to be managed. She writes, “I think it is imperative for managers to be ‘coaches’ to their employees, especially the millennials, as that is what the Millennials expect.” They require validation, crave feedback from their supervisors, and are confused by the world of work in general. Statistics show that the majority of teens during the ’70s and ’80s worked during summer vacation, while only one-third of today’s teens have a paying job over the summer. Instead, they choose to volunteer, work in unpaid internships, and enroll in high school or college courses. All of this looks great on college resumes, but is not practical when it comes time for these millennials to enter the workforce. They have no idea how to set up direct deposit for payroll with their ban

  • Include information on company culture and values in your employee handbook, go over timesheets, employment paperwork, vacation requests and all of the details involved with the company procedures during their orientation.
  • Take the guess work out of the workplace for your millennials and become their coach, and you’ll start off on a better foot with your millennials moving forward.

Keep in mind that Millennials are facing many tough challenges across their long lifespan but their common skills and values make them well equipped to face and overcome these adversities.  Employers who understand and bring out the best of their Millennials will tap into the potentially valuable contribution to the workforce and the innovation they are capable of.

For more on Millennials see 15 Economic Facts About Millennials, 2014 Report of the United States Office of the Presidentl Council of Economic Advisors.

Difficult Yet Talented Employees: Troublemakers Unite!

Are the most talented employees in your workplace also the most difficult to deal with? Different employees will require engagement criteria that works for his or her individual personality – it’s not a one size fits all solution. So how can you identify what engagement criteria will work for those talented yet difficult employees? Job suitability assessments are one way, and lucky for you, Peoplescape consultants are skilled at analyzing the data provided by such tools. Also, looking at an employee’s generational profile can tell you a lot about what their needs will be in order to keep them engaged in the workplace and focused on solutions for the projects and challenges at hand. It is also important to look at the competition; what are the pay rates and benefit packages for similar positions across the industry marketplace? Lastly, making sure that management is well-trained and able to engage their employees is a critical piece of this puzzle. You don’t want to let your talented employees go, but you also want to make their difficulty something that managers and peers can work with – rather than it being an obstacle.
So what are some easy-to-identify traits of these difficult yet talented employees? Here goes!

1. They know their worth to the organization.
2. They are organizationally and politically savvy.
3. They have little respect for hierarchy.
4. They are demanding and often expect instant access to the resources they need at any given moment.
5. They network well – a pro and con for any organization because their network extends to other places of work if things don’t go accordingly to their plan!
6. They do not see any need for a manager (which makes managing them EXTREMELY challenging!)

In reading this list, I’m sure that you can identify a few of these employees in your own organization. Do they represent a wide generational population or do they typically fall into that millennial or Generation X category? As we’ve discussed at length at peoplescapehr.com/blog, encouraging employees of these generational groups and providing a stimulating work environment can go a long way to support successful working relationships between generations. However, you have to be careful that you are not catering to a difficult yet talented population of employees and accidentally ignoring everyone else. There must be some balance to the process, and managers will have to tread lightly to successfully engage their troublemakers (said with some sarcasm…and a little bit of an epiphany in thinking I myself have been one of those in workplaces – sincere apologies to my former supervisors!) while still making the less difficult and more dependable employees feel comfortable and valued as well.

Taking Stock & Shaking Up Those “Bored At Work” Employees!

[tweetthis]“Work is making a living out of being bored.” – Karl Lagerfeld[/tweetthis]

How true is this statement for you? How about for your co-workers? What can managers do to shift this feeling of work being something you HAVE to do rather than something that you can ENJOY doing? Taking stock and shaking things up is easier said than done, and changing the way we think about things is much more difficult than changing our actions. On a recent episode of Shark Tank, ABC’s hit show about inventors and investors backing those ideas financially, one entrepreneur presented his idea for the “Squatty Potty.” As one of the investors noted, it is challenging to shift the mindset of people when it comes to how and where they use the toilet. Similarly, it is difficult for many people to change how they view work and their attitude towards it. But alas, there is hope! If you’re bored at work, you can change it!

It is the employer’s responsibility to create an environment that welcomes new ideas, change, and forward thinking. Recently, a successful European beverage company was looking to make changes in order to encourage employee motivation and increase accountability and communication among employees. To shake things up in your organization, follow these simple steps! Let us know how it transforms your workplace.

1. BE TRANSPARENT – This goes for all levels from the CEO to the mail clerk. Be honest, be clear, and be open.

2. TONE DOWN THE CONVENTIONAL APPROACH – While recognizing the necessity in paying bills and such, encourage business innovation when it comes to things such as dress code, meetings, collaborative efforts, etc. Let creativity shine whenever possible!

3. BE A RISK TAKER – Encourage rules to be followed, but also allow for them to be challenged.

4. GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY – If someone needs help, lend a hand. If your officemate broke their desk chair, help them fix it or find a second-hand option. Be thrifty, be smart, and don’t be afraid to roll your sleeves up. Having an attitude of “that’s their problem” will only create tension and destroy the office dynamic.

5. INDIVIDUALITY – This is key. Everyone brings something different to the table. Recognize that, appreciate it, and inspire it.

6. TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES – To an extent, the trust we give to our co-workers and employees to produce an exemplary solution is what fosters growth and teamwork.

7 Things Great Employers Do

How do you get your workforce engaged in the work they are doing? This is a question that comes up quite a bit, as employers are attempting to get their employees involved, productive, and enthusiastic about their work. There are 7 things great employers do that creates a “feel good” approach to getting your employees engaged and creating a work culture that others will envy!

[tweetthis]There are 7 things great employers do that creates a work culture others will envy![/tweetthis]

1. Start with your leaders – Choose involved, creative leaders who want to make a difference and get others excited about your business.

2. Build a strong HR team – HR influences managers to make business decisions – use the HR team to create positive changes throughout your organization.

3. Get down to the basics – Tell employees what is expected of them. Don’t think that employees will connect with an abstract mission or vision if they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing day-to-day. Be clear and direct.

4. Don’t use the economy as an excuse – Make changes, give (realistic) hope to the employees, be upfront with them. This will go a long way in reassuring employees that your business is around for the long haul!

5. Hold your managers accountable, but trust them too! – Be supportive of your managers, but also make sure that you are holding them accountable and keeping your standards high for your management team as well as their employees.

6. Have a straightforward approach to performance management – Fairness is key in performance management – keep the same standards across the board and treat everyone equally. Streamline your processes so that everyone in the company goes through the same performance management evaluations.

7. Don’t manage to the metric – Yes, utilize tools at your disposal for gauging employee engagement. But do NOT make the actual engagement less important than the measuring of it.

employee resignation

I Quit! Did You See It Coming?

Almost every HR professional has at least one story of a “creative” employee resignation.

From an employee saying they’re going to lunch and never returning, to an employee bringing a Marching Band into the office to play him out, some of the stories sound like a scene out of the movies. If the employee was obviously disgruntled, it may not come as a surprise that they make their exit in a grandiose (and possibly disruptive) way.

What if the resignation is coming from one of your top performers? When the resignation letter hits your desk, were you prepared for it? About a month ago, CNN Money came out with an article about job-hopping to gain salary increases, and these are increases that are much larger than your average company would offer as an annual increase. While the examples they used were extreme, with the number of available jobs on the rise, employees may be more willing to test their luck in the job market.

[tweetthis]Available jobs are on the rise, and your talent may be on the move.[/tweetthis]

Have you checked in with your top talent lately? If not, it may be a good time to do so. Let’s talk about some of the warning signs that your talent may be gearing up for a change.

1. The Wardrobe Upgrade: An employee who usually has a more casual style that starts wearing a tie a few times a week may be interviewing. It could also just be a wardrobe change.

2. Wacky Scheduling: Your most consistent employee, in at 8 and out at 5 suddenly starts shifting their schedule around. Coming in an hour or two late, leaving a little early, or even taking an extended lunch could be another warning sign of meeting with a potential new employer. On the flip side, it may be that the employee is dealing with non-work related issues, like tending to a sick loved one. Either way, a sudden change in schedule on a continued basis when they previously were very consistent may warrant a check in conversation – especially if the wardrobe upgrades seem to coincide with these days!

3. Salary Stagnancy: When was the employee’s last increase? Was it a standard 2-3% increase or merit based? It’s unrealistic to try and give everyone a raise to keep them, but if an employee hasn’t seen a raise in en extended period of time, they may listen to articles like CNN Money and Forbes that tell them they could command more by leaving. (It may also be time to do a salary survey to see if your salaries are still on par with the market!)

4. Decline in Product: Whether it’s efficiency or quality, if an employee is becoming disengaged their work product may decline. That’s not to say you should panic if an employee has one bad project, but if their work may decline over multiple projects, they may no longer be fully invested in the work.

5. Life Events: Getting married, a new child, or the declining health of a loved one can be a game changer. This one usually has less to do with the employer, but having a conversation with the employee as soon as you learn about the life event could help you plan for the future. You may also be able to discuss flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and the various types of leaves available to the employee. If the employee knows they have options, they may be more inclined to stay.

You can never guarantee that an employee is going to stay with the company forever, but taking the time to check in and test engagement levels may help you to build action plans around key employees or start planning and resourcing for the future.

What are some warning signs you have seen in your workplace?