Dear Boss, I Quit! – Making changes for new generations

  • “I can’t stand my boss; I need a new job!”
  • “I wish I had more time off. My family is just as important.”
  • “I know what I’m doing…get off my back!”
  • “I wish my job was more fun…”
  • “Why bother? Nobody listens to my ideas anyway.”

These thoughts run through employees’ minds in almost every company. And the part that’s scary is…eventually they are going to do something about it. As someone managing employees, you may think that everything appears great from the outside. Sales are up, your team has a good relationship with your customers, and you don’t see any immediate problems.

Since there are no major problems, why change? Because even though you don’t see it, you’re about to lose valuable employees! In your eyes, things are fine. But in your employees’ eyes, one of these things could be the final straw…it’s only a matter of time.

Companies lose great employees all the time, and many times, it’s because they aren’t paying attention to the issues that are important to their workforce. A recent study conducted by BambooHR states that the number one reason people leave their jobs is a lack of opportunity for advancement. Following close behind is the lack of a work-life balance and a desire for more compensation.

It’s time to consider the generational gap. Many individuals of the older generations prove their value by being the first in the office and the last to leave. The newer generations, however, value flex-time and a work-life balance. As Baby Boomers are starting to retire and Millennials and Generation Z are entering the workforce, we need to start looking at new ways of keeping employees engaged and happy. So what can you do?

  1. Believe in your people. Feeling trusted is a large reason people stay with the same company year after year. They enjoy coming to work, being part of a team and feeling like they make a difference.
  2. Listen to them. Make time for one-on-one conversations and work to build a relationship. Take their concerns seriously, no matter how big or small. Find out what they enjoy and what they still want to learn.
  3. Talk about their future. If the number one reason people leave is the lack of opportunity, make employees aware of what opportunities are available to them. If you have a succession plan, show them how they fit into the picture. Find out what they envision for the future.
  4. Find ways to accommodate them. If flex time is important, modify your structure to accommodate for that. If they have young children, find ways for them to work from home a couple days a week. Sometimes, it’s simply a change in the way you think – a change in the way things have always been done. You have to change the belief that employees have to be in the office to be valuable. With changing technology, some people are actually more productive away from the office.

We know that increasing everyone’s compensation and benefits package isn’t realistic, so it’s time to think outside the box. Survey your employees. Find out what’s important. Then, start making some changes.

For more on retaining the younger generations, check out our video blog!

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