millennials at workReading an article produced by the author of the Career Engagement Game I was interested to see that Millennials are quickly creating the brand of having a two-year itch. Employers are not able to keep them longer than two years and yet they are the most motivated of all generations to enter the workplace! The article was questioning the value of such short-term thinking being exuded by Millennials who are now expected to have 20 jobs over the course of their working lives.

I find it in interesting that this article found fault with the Millennial way of thinking and being – why are they engaging in such short term thinking and choosing not to stay longer it asks quite a few times……..questioning the psychological work contract they are prepared to enter into!

I prefer to turn this around and look at it very differently. I think you could safely say that within two years it is very easy for these young people to see and feel if their leaders (Baby Boomers or Gen X) are going to empower them to do great things in their career. So I think they are engaging in long term thinking by leaving – as they seek the “right” place where they can truly flourish and they are not going to waste time with leaders who do not want to lead them and the business courageously.

So I believe very strongly that we should be looking to our senior leaders and asking what is wrong with them that they are not able to retain these young and highly motivated people in the business for longer than two years. We don’t do this because that is a far more confronting approach where the essence of the current status quo is deeply challenged; no it is far safer to use the research in such a way as to “blame” the younger generation!

And we do this even knowing that:

“Despite this cavalier attitude to employer-commitment by millennials, our research shows us that this generation are the most aspirational in their career drive of any and are actually prepared to work harder, contribute more and even use their own personal time for career growth and learning if you provide them with the right tools.”

Fascinating that we turn to discover what is wrong with Millennials and not what is wrong with our Existing Leaders. It is time for this to change – we need existing leaders to truly challenge the way they lead – the old ways no longer inspire and will not unleash the potential of these amazing young people. To change means “being vulnerable” and dropping the reliance on ego, power, and control.

Start a conversation with us if you want to know more about connecting emerging and existing leaders to create a united population of courageous leaders.