They’re everywhere and they’re about to completely take over the workplace. I’m talking about Millennials, the generation following Generation X, and the generation that currently makes up 38% of the United States workforce. And a recent Gallup study shows that these Millennials are not as engaged in their work as you might hope they’d be.
So why is this important? Some estimates show that by 2025, Millennials may dominate as much as 75% of the workforce. If they aren’t engaged in their jobs, what does that mean for your workplace?
Millennials are likely not engaged
The Gallup study, which Gallup says is the “most robust and comprehensive study of the millennial generation to date,” included more than 1 million respondents.
Gallup’s full report, How Millennials Want To Work And Live, found that Millennials are struggling to find jobs that engage them, and in fact, only 29% say they’re engaged at work. That means that the majority of them, which likely includes Millennials at your workplace, aren’t. If they aren’t thriving at work and are “checked out,” that’s a big problem and can have a direct impact on your company’s success. As Gallup points out, companies’ profitability, productivity and innovation can suffer as a result.
By comparison, Millennials are the least engaged generation when looking at generations before them. 55% of Millennials are not engaged in their work, while 50% of Gen Xers and 48% of Baby Boomers are disengaged.
As Gallup points out, a lot of people tend to write this off as Millennials being overly entitled, but according to their study, there’s a big difference between feeling entitled and feeling indifferent. Many Millennials in the study said they don’t necessarily want to leave their jobs but their companies aren’t giving them many reasons to stay. Instead of feeling entitled, they’re just craving a job that makes them feel like it’s worthwhile.
The effects of disengagement
Another scary statistic that came out of the Gallup poll is that 60% of Millennials are open to another job opportunity. That means that a majority of Millennials would be willing to up and leave your company if another opportunity arose. This could have devastating effects on your company due to the increase in the amount of turnovers, in addition to recruiting and onboarding costs. It’s a rather uncomfortable thought that more than half of Millennials don’t see a solid future with their current companies.
Furthermore, 21% of Millennials said that they changed jobs within the last year, more than three times the number of other generations. Forbes reported on the same Gallup study and concluded that the main reasons why Millennials want to leave their jobs has to do with finding meaning in their work, wanting to learn and grow, and unsatisfactory management.
While the effects on your own business might be devastating, the effects on the US economy are even more notable. According to Gallup, this issue costs the economy $30.5 billion annually.
Fortunately, there are things companies can do to combat millennial disengagement. 72% of Millennials surveyed who are engaged in their jobs said that was due to their managers setting performance goals for them. Setting goals and providing job clarity are things managers can do to make sure their millennial employees have a clear understanding of their jobs and what is expected of them.
Additionally, there are a number of other ways managers can engage their employees, like checking in regularly and creating an open door policy.