If you have Millennials on your payroll, expect 43 percent of them to leave within 24 months. Think you'll replace them with Gen Zers? Be aware that 61 percent of them are likely to head out the door in the same time frame.

These numbers aren't hunches. They're straight from the mouths of more than 10,000 Millennials and 1,800 members of Generation Z who participated in The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018. Respondents exhibited high degrees of dissatisfaction and cynicism across the board, especially when it came to loyalty.

In other words, you're in for a bumpy ride unless you start addressing workers' concerns before they hand in their resignations.

In 2019, the employer-employee connection is tenuous. No longer are employees giving the best years of their lives in exchange for a pension or stability. In fact, they're prepared to make for the exit at the first sight of a red flag.

And they're seeing a lot of red flags.

A few of the biggest complaints among Deloitte's survey participants focused on business's unethical practices, lack of diversity, inflexibility, and limited on-the-job education opportunities. Moreover, employees don't have to hang around at a company that only meets their needs halfway. In the U.S., unemployment is still at rock-bottom levels, so plenty of organizations are hiring. In addition, the gig economy offers major opportunities for talented workers willing to go it alone in an effort to make more money and have more control over their work-life balance.

Unless you enjoy constantly recruiting, hiring, and training employees, you should do all you can to keep your workers. Begin by understanding exactly what irks people the most about their employers. Then, initiate companywide reforms to address these very real problems before they cost you a bundle.

1. Your employees don't trust you.

Do you walk the walk and talk the talk? If so, according to Deloitte's respondents, you're one of a few: Belief in business ethics was down 17 percent for Millennials. Many companies are afflicted by unethical practices, and plenty have been outed via social media. As a result, employees assume that their employers will likewise make decisions based on profits, not people.

We learned from Google and others last year that if you don't give your employees a voice in corporate decisions, that doesn't mean they'll stay quiet. The tech giant ended up withdrawing from a lucrative military contract known as Project Maven because so many of its workers were offended and concerned by the contract's long-term ramifications. Although it might go against the typical corporate grain, you can foster serious street cred with employees if you take their worries to heart and act principle-first, not profit-first.

2. You operate with old-fashioned mentalities.

Is it possible that your company is stuck in a time warp, at least by employee standards? Employees are seeking modern work environments with flexibility and diversity, according to Deloitte. Certainly, some positions can't be flexible, such as call service representatives who must be available between certain hours. However, other roles may be conducive to alternative work arrangements.

A forward-thinking culture also includes a diverse work family. If you look around and find that all your employees come from the same background, bring the same ideas to the table, and fail to reflect the diversity of your customers or community, your hiring process may be biased. Aim to make your culture more inclusive by recruiting and developing people from underrepresented groups--and then listening to what they have to say.

3. You don't train your talent.

One of the biggest concerns mentioned by young workers in the Deloitte study is that they feel unready to take on what's around the corner. What they need is an infusion of consistent upskilling to improve their relevancy and give them a solid reason to stay at the company. AT&T is already taking this challenge on by pledging $1 billion to upskill and retrain its workers.

At our company, employee development is a constant. Books are a classic go-to for people who want to learn on their own time. We're also dedicated to peer-to-peer mentoring, a practice that encourages self-learning among teams. If you can, it's a solid investment to cover the cost of relevant conferences and/or online and offline courses. Being able to tout your internal education makes you more attractive to Millennial hires in particular, according to 87 percent of Gallup poll participants.

It's the rare employee born after 1980 who will earn a 35-year gold watch in the coming decades. Yet that doesn't mean you can't expect workers to remain with your organization for more years than the current average. Anything is possible when you stop giving talent a reason to quit and instead give them many reasons to remain.

Published on: Jan 20, 2019
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