Millennials are quitting their jobs -- and fast.

For employers, managers, and the workforce as a whole, this raises questions about the relationship between companies and younger employees, but also about our society as a whole.

According to recent international research by Deloitte, which surveyed Millennials and members of Generation Z, a whopping 43 percent of respondents said they plan to quit their current job within two years.

And, according to a Future Workplace survey, 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. These numbers don't look good. They don't necessarily shine a positive light on the younger generations either--as it labels them as self-focused, non-committed, job-hoppers

Is our mindset toward work changing that quickly? Are the days gone when people would join a firm, commit to it, and work their way to the top? Are the days gone when organizations would welcome young workers, invest in their development, and hone them to be future leaders? Is employee loyalty a thing of the past?

That depends at how you define loyalty.

I remember being young in the workforce. And I remember thinking that I'll join a company to build my resume and then move upward. Was that wrong? Was I wrong? 

I also recall hearing corporate leaders talk about loyalty to the company and thinking, "Why should I be loyal to an organization? I just got here and I don't know if they'll be loyal to me." Again, was I wrong for thinking that way?

Of course, with age comes wisdom and experience.

With age also comes an understanding of loyalty that I didn't comprehend when I was just getting started in the workplace. I first began to understand loyalty as it related to coworkers. I became loyal to people as they showed loyalty toward me. I built many strong connections. I found people I trusted. I avoided those I didn't trust. In fact, many of my former coworkers, and bosses--through numerous companies and states--are still some of my closest and most trusted connections today.  

It's only after I truly understood loyalty between people that I began to understand loyalty toward an organization

An organization is comprised of many people who had shared values, and shared goals. It may have taken some time and movement to discover loyalty to an organization, however, when I did, it didn't look or feel much different than loyalty to people.

If I gave my loyalty to the organization, then it would give its best to me. This insight only came from working for both companies that truly cared about me, and some that seemingly didn't care all that much.

Maybe we like to clump all organizations together and call them all greedy. Maybe we like to toss labels at other generations--calling them wandering, unfocused, or uncommitted. Maybe we just like to label--assuming everyone, or everything that falls into a category is just like something else.

Whatever the case may be, it's important to step back and truly analyze whether all companies are heartless profit centers, and everyone that is born during the same time period has the ability or inability to see a long future with an organization. 

It could be a generational thing. It could be a stage in life. Or, it could be something much more serious--a symptom of pointing the finger of blame in the wrong direction. Companies are pointing fingers at the young employees--assuming they won't be loyal. Young employees are pointing the finger at companies--assuming that none of them truly care about their success.

Managers: Be realistic about how new employees view their future with your organization.

They are in a stage of life where they're searching for the right company, the right group of people, the right purpose to pursue. They might think your company is a simply another notch on their resume. But, with enough attention, appreciation, and opportunity - they might decide to stay for their career.

Millennials: Before you commit your mind to leaving your company, commit you heart to your current position and team.

Empty your pockets of all your skill and ability. Give your best, even if it's risky. What's the worst that can happen? Either you'll be sent out the door to find your next adventure, or you'll discover something many of us wait far too long to do--blossom into yourself. That sounds a little sappy. But when you discover what it means, you'll be able to do it anywhere.    

Published on: Aug 10, 2018