Since my recent posts about young professional turnover have been getting a lot of love, I wanted to dive into more detail about why this is happening. We’re going to talk about two different parties here: the young professionals and the people who hire young professionals (businesses).
First, let’s state the obvious: young professionals are getting burned out, seeking out new jobs, leaving their previous company in the following place:
They need to hire someone - and fast - to fill your position
They need to invest in training this new employee in your position
They have lost a great hire (that’s you!)
Now, let’s go back to the young professional in this story. After feeling completely burned out, they leave their position in the following situation:
Feeling like the grass is definitely greener on the other side (which may or may not be the case…)
Feeling drained and not fully ready to apply what they know in their next role because of how exhausted they are
Desperately hoping this new job isn’t like the last
Both sides are in a tough spot here. Fortunately, these situations are completely avoidable if both parties are willing to step up and change the ongoing cycle of young professional turnover. Here are three essential ways to break this cycle:
1. Communication needs to be golden (both ways).
You’ve heard me bring this up so many times because communication is the golden rule in business. As a YoPro, you need to be clear in all forms of communication, which I understand is hard at the beginning, especially when you want to make a good impression. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are no dumb questions (within reason!), so if good communication means asking a question, even when you’re scared to, then you need to do it!
Now, business leaders...this part of my point is for you: set clear expectations from the beginning. Thanks to our interview with Jordan Hallow, we know it takes normally around 6 to 9 months to really get a role down, so help your YoPros recognize that. If they know what to expect, both with specific job expectations and your every-day-on-the-job expectations, they are more likely to make it past that 9-month mark.
2. Adapt to what is going on outside of the office.
No, I’m not just talking about the pandemic here! Sure, I want you to recognize as business leaders that YoPros will respond well to your company if you’re adjusting from the cultural shifts occurring in society right now. Based on dozens of our interviews with YoPros, 65% say they will stay at a company for their culture, which includes the post-pandemic shift from hybrid vs. remote work, social justice, and more. Don’t do nothing – do something! You will start to see a sense of loyalty and respect from your YoPros.
3. Provide ongoing support.
If you caught last month’s GSA Business Report article, you might recognize a few of these tips. One of the best ways to keep your YoPros happy is by giving them ongoing support, but it’s probably not the kind you’re thinking of. Provide ongoing training for YoPros specifically, including topics like: preparing for leadership as a YoPro; facing age as a problem in the workplace; how to develop credibility among coworkers. By offering them a safe place to learn without feeling “watched” by upper management and giving them a hand to grow, you’ll once again find a great sense of loyalty and respect.
While these tools won’t improve your retention overnight, each of these suggestions will improve your business culture over time, if used appropriately, which will significantly impact your young professional retention rate. To those that think these apply to all demographics, you may be right, but these tools are designed based on 350+ interviews with young professionals across the country. As young professional experts, we are here to help YoPros succeed in the workplace, starting with the companies they work for.
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