January 12, 2017

How Will You Turnaround Your Engagement in 2017?

Deb LaMere

Deb LaMere is the Vice President of Employee Experience at Ceridian. With 17 years’ experience in human resources, Deb is responsible for employee engagement, talent management and performance management for Ceridian.

If you thought employee engagement was a hot topic in 2016, look out. The new year has begun and employee engagement remains one of the most pressing issues facing the American public and private sectors, as high turnover plagues organizations across the nation. Unfortunately, despite the fact that landmark studies have been released throughout the past five years that highlight the extreme need for high engagement, more signs continue to indicate that the workforce is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to being satisfied in their current employment.

One such indication comes from the millennial generation, where a tremendous portion of this group is so disengaged that more and more are planning to leave their positions for a new job in 2017.

A look at the study

Clutch, a company that offers business-to-business rating and review services, released its latest survey on the millennial generation’s engagement landscape heading into the new year, asserting that 30 percent of these workers will be leaving their jobs in the next 12 months due to dissatisfaction. According to the research, millennials are most likely to be disengaged due to poor communication with their managers, especially when it comes to how they receive feedback. 

Unlike baby boomers and other generations, millennials tend to be most engaged and satisfied when the feedback they are offered from managers is timely, fair and uniform with others, and roughly 77 percent believe that their jobs have failed them in this regard. 

“The more traditional models of providing feedback are less liked by millennials,” Joe Carella, a dean at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, explained. “They want more emphasis on instant feedback and the immediate connection to the work that they’re doing.”

Perhaps most shocking is the divide between millennials, baby boomers and generation Xers when it comes to job fulfillment. Roughly 40 percent of millennials do not feel satisfied and fulfilled compared to 20 percent of generation Xers and 10 percent of baby boomers. This means that the youngest generation, and the one that is now beginning to take up the highest portion of the American workforce, is the riskiest of all going into 2017! 

Making it work

Some of the types of issues that lead millennials to leave their jobs are also the easiest to overcome. For example, giving managerial feedback on a regular basis should not be viewed as some incredible feat, as it is a relatively simple and quick activity that should be standard in all companies’ engagement policies.

Having the right tool for performance development also makes this easier. The right tool will encourage managers and their reports to have ongoing conversations where they came provide feedback that is timely and relevant, versus the yearly ones everyone dreads.

In 2017, the time is right to revamp your programs focused on employee engagement and performance, and better tailor them so they work for all generations!

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