Gone are the days when workers devoted 35 years to a company, then retired with a gold watch and a sizeable pension. In fact, the average employee holds a job for about 4.4 years before moving on and expects to stay at the next job for just three years, according to the most recent data Forbes reviewed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The youngest employees stay only about half that time, meaning they could have as many as 15-20 jobs over the course of their careers.
That kind of turnover sounds great for the employee who presumably gains new skills and a pay increase with each move, but the lack of loyalty is bad for business, right? Not necessarily.
While a constant stream of workers can be more difficult to train and manage, a steady flow of new ideas keeps the workplace from becoming stagnant. Employees who are loyal at all costs are not always more valuable. Sometimes they’re more likely to become complacent, stifling innovation. New employees bring a fresh perspective and useful skills.
Many employees, particularly younger ones, have traded a sense of stability for personal development and fulfillment in their careers, as a 2012 study by Net Impact found. Rather than resigning to a “revolving door” mentality, employers should recognize the advantages of a more mobile workforce. Workers who move more frequently are often more motivated to prove their worth. They’ve come to understand that their position could be eliminated at any time if they’re not offering value, so they may be less likely to take the job for granted. The more frequent turnover means employers have access to a larger pool of talented candidates.
By implementing workplace policies that embrace the new normal, your hiring managers can develop a stronger workforce that remains stable without growing stagnant.
Offer Flexible Hours
Research from Future Workplace shows that flexibility attracts today’s workers more than anything else, including compensation. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever for employees in some industries to work remotely at least part of the time, but many companies have failed to adjust their policies to keep up.
Showcase Personal Development and Growth Opportunities
A lack of personal development is a key factor in many employees’ decision to move on. Some companies see it as counterproductive to spend time training and employees when the investment doesn’t always pay off. How well do you encourage employees to keep growing? Are there opportunities for unique perks, such as tuition reimbursement or discounts on fitness classes?
Make Sure Employees Are Being Heard
Managers should take the time to meet one-on-one with employees whenever possible, whether it’s in a formal setting (such as a quarterly review) or an informal chat over lunch. There should be an open dialogue where the employee feels free to express concerns and ask questions. These interactions can also help the employer identify areas where training is falling short or outdated policies are hindering morale.
Streamline Training and Establish Workplace Mentors
A lack of time is a poor excuse for a lack of training. It’s time to take an honest look at your employee orientation programs and consider how well they actually achieve their objectives. Some of your training objectives may be better accomplished by pairing new hires with established managers who can serve as mentors. The personal contact and professional investment can really pay off over time. Look to established mentoring programs, such as Sodexo’s, for guidance on forming or improving your own.
Never Stop Building Your Workforce
With a workforce that’s constantly in transition, hiring managers can’t afford to wait until they have an opening to start recruiting. Cloud-based technology can now bring qualified candidates to hiring managers anytime, anywhere. Hyrell’s applicant tracking software streamlines the process by automatically scoring and ranking candidates as they come in, eliminating the need for employers to sort through hundreds of resumes. It allows for seamless collaboration by enabling your entire team to review top candidates, adding their comments and questions. When you’re ready to move forward, it automates the process of communicating with candidates in a timely manner.
Make the most of your hiring process with Hyrell’s recruiting management system. To learn more, download our online recruiting guide for tips and best practices to attract more applicants.