You may have heard recently of a phenomenon called “job hopping.” This refers to employees that change jobs more frequently than is expected – and it almost exclusively applies to millennials.
So if you’re asking, what is considered a job hopper, the answer is probably “millennial.” In fact, about half of them are actively searching for new jobs, and 21% have changed jobs within the last year. It can be easy to dismiss this as millennials being lazy, or disloyal, or bored. But it’s more nuanced than that.
Rather than just identifying the fact that millennials leave their jobs at higher rates than previous generations, you want to ask yourself why millennials are leaving their jobs. It’s not because they’re disloyal or aloof. Rather, they simply value certain aspects of their jobs that companies aren’t really offering.
Here’s what job hoppers really want out of their jobs:
- Work-life balance
Millennials care deeply about work-life balance. In fact, 83% of millennial workers said that work-life balance was the biggest consideration in whether or not they would take a job. Employees who have a strong work-life balance are much more likely to stay in their jobs, and take jobs that offer those benefits.
- Growth opportunity
Today’s employees want to make sure that they have opportunities within their careers to grow. They don’t want to remain stagnant in the same position for twenty years. 21% of employees said they’d remain in their job if there were clear opportunities for advancement. Job hoppers aren’t just going from job to job because they’re bored; they’re looking for fulfillment and growth. No one wants to feel stuck in their job — it makes sense that employees are seeking opportunities wherever they can.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that a yearly job performance review is no longer enough. Employees want more feedback; in fact, most millennial workers say they’d prefer monthly feedback, and they tend to want it 50% more than other generations. Unfortunately, they aren’t getting the feedback they want and need. According to a Gallup poll, only 19% say they receive enough feedback, and only 17% say that the feedback they do receive is useful.
Feedback is incredibly important in retaining employees. Those who get routine, meaningful feedback are more engaged, happier, and more productive. They’re not just going to wait around for an annual review; if employees aren’t receiving the feedback they crave, you can bet they’ll go looking for it somewhere else.
Job-hopping is an issue for companies, especially as it can cost them significantly to constantly lose employees, but it doesn’t have to be. There are concrete issues that job-hoppers are facing, and that serve as the reason for their constant career mobility. The truth is, employees aren’t going to settle in and wait for opportunities to come to them. They’re going to be proactive, and if that means finding a different job, then that’s what they’re going to do. But companies can combat this by being aware of what their employees need and want, and use that information to help them retain their workers. After all, at the end of the day we all just want somewhere we can work hard, feel appreciated, and grow to the best of our ability.