Your Problem's Not Turnover…It's Your Business Model!

Your Problem's Not Turnover…It's Your Business Model!

Millennials are changing the world; some ways are obvious while others hide beneath the surface.

For example…

One such undercurrent is the notion of turnover.

Studies predict that Millennials will go through 6 career changes, 3 of which don’t even exist today (note: career, not job).

If you’ve got any 20-somethings on your staff, I can commiserate with your feelings of frustration at having to replace yet another greener-pasture-seeker.

I, too, have been puzzled by the fact that—no matter how much we as business owners try to tailor-make a culture for the newest generation of workers (purpose-driven, flexible schedule, empowered, etc)—our efforts only seem to slow down the revolving door.

…but here’s the thing

Turnover is not your problem. Your business model is.

The direction of the river flow has changed, the only question is will you change with it or continue to push against the current.

Millennials Don’t Value the Same Things You Do

I find myself extremely fortunate to be at the intersection of GenX and GenY, which allows me an interesting perspective of both the old and new. We are a product of an ever-increasing instant gratification culture that wants, expects, and attains things instantly. What used to take hours in the library to research has been reduced to nothing more than a few keystrokes and Google instantly returns the results before we’ve even finished the first word. Time is completely relative (have you noticed how much faster time goes as you get older?) so compared to two keystrokes and an answer, the time required to put in the work to climb the ladder is nearly incomprehensible.

Millennials want opportunities to learn and grow while doing something meaningful that will lead to whatever is next. To attract this generation, your company must be purpose-driven and have roles that provide challenging, meaningful work with a clear reward.

Since Millennials have grown up receiving a trophy after an 0-12 season, the reward system is way different than what you are accustomed to. Some just seek recognition for a job well done. Others respond to more calendar flexibility or vacation time, raises and bonuses, promotions, gift cards, etc.

The key is to ask what they are looking for (knowing that this will change over time) and set clear numerical expectations on what it takes to achieve it.

Mitigate Bad Turnover but Embrace Good Turnover

Turnover is not a bad thing…not being prepared for turnover is a bad thing.

Focus in on your key players and make sure you are giving them the support and recognition they are looking for, which can only be accomplished by consistent, open communication.

With your key staff firm in place, you have to prepare for a certain percentage of your team to consistently turn over, since Millennials hop positions every 18 months on average.

Here are 3 things you can do to help mitigate the negative impact of this trend:

    1. Document systems and processes for all recurring tasks. This ensures that when talent walks out the door, they aren’t taking all the expertise in their heads with them, saving you lots of time in training and headaches with your new employee.
      • At goBRANDgo!, we have an online internal Wiki that catalogs and categorizes everything we do, and we institute a policy of “Try, Wiki, Why, Wiki.”
        1. Try it! did you figure it out? If yes, skip to Step 4. If no:
        2. Wiki it! Check the Wiki. did you find it and figure it out? If yes, skip to Step 4. If no”
        3. Ask about it! Ask someone how to do it. Then:
        4. Wiki it! Make sure no one else has the same problem.
      • Over time this has created a warehouse of valuable information.
    2. Prospect for new employees the same way you do for customers, CRM and all. When caught flat-footed on turnover, it often takes several weeks to just to assemble some candidates to interview; if you have a pipeline of qualified people who you’ve been keeping in consistent contact with, that time lag can be eliminated.
      • We focus our branding and marketing materials on new recruits…probably even more than customers, leading to us getting 3-4 resumes a week. We have a specific process to vet and categorize all candidates and invite them in for a go!-Tour and huddle to meet the team.
    3. Create an effective on-boarding process to reduce ramp up time. If you’ve got 18 months before they are going to leave, you can’t afford for them to take 6-9 months to get into their groove.
      • Our on-boarding process begins two weeks before new go!-Mates, start and involves 8 different people in the company. Our new employees are jogging quickly at the end of the first month and running full speed by month two.

This change is not just a fad

We are only at the beginning stages of this trend. The change in employee loyalty brings implications that can be—for the unprepared—as disruptive as the internet to business in the 1990s.

So, you have the choice: Embrace it or Fight it…Evolution or Extinction.

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