One of the main challenges employers have is to keep and cultivate the generation Y workers because it seems they are “jumpy” and “less loyal”. They are always on the look for bigger and better opportunities.


Ninety-one percent of Millennials (1980–2000) expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers. That means they would have 15–20 jobs over the course of their working lives. That’s a lot of job interviews!

To have a better understand we need to start from the definition of loyalty. Especially when you compare it to how loyalty is perceived by generation X or babyboomer loyalty there is a big gap. Looking at the previous generations it’s very common that workers stay at a company 25+ years. Fundamentally the difference is there. The new generation of workers are not so much loyal to a company, but more loyal to their bosses and managers.

So in contrary to what media is saying about millennials, it’s actually the opposite. Millennials are very loyal — they’re just not loyal to a company; they’re loyal to their bosses. Cam Marston, author of “Motivating the What’s in it for me workforce”, says that effective bosses are the number one reason why Millennials stay at a job.

“Millennials have great respect for leaders and loyalty,” but “they don’t respect authority ‘just because.’ For the younger generations, every ounce of loyalty and respect must be earned. But when it is earned, it is given fiercely.”

People leave bosses, not companies. Click To Tweet

According to a Gallup study around 50% of employees leave their company to get away from their bosses.

Focus on Building Exception Leaders

This is why it’s so important to have exceptional leaders at companies to retain these younger workers. They don’t want someone who micromanages and thinks of them as just another worker. They want someone who inspires them to stay at a company.

Employers should accept the different loyalty definition and start building an inspiring company culture where the leadership team is constantly equipped and leaders are grown. Employers should focus on interacting, motivating and rewarding generation Y in a way which resonates and inspires them.

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