It probably would not be unusual to assume that young adults are more entrepreneurial or prefer to move from one job to another, but a recent survey of 1,200 millennials (adults aged 18 to 34) conducted by EY and EIG has shown that people in this age range are more risk averse than we might think.
The results showed that 44% of millennials preferred to move up the ladder at a single company, compared to 25% who believe that the best way to advance a career is to move from job to job with different companies.
This is an interesting statistic, but when you consider the risks involved in moving jobs regularly or starting your own business then perhaps it is not that much of a surprise.
Young adults have aspirations to earn good salaries, to own their first property and to be as debt free as possible. All of these things are becoming harder and harder to achieve. Millennials are working through a time where there has been, and continues to be, economic and political uncertainty, and this appears to be making them more risk averse.
So what does this mean for your business?
It’s actually a positive thing for business leaders. The costs of recruitment and training are expensive for a business. If we then add the amount of time a business must invest in new recruits, then it is extremely important that we ensure that we can retain the best employees. If they want to stay in a job that is safe and where they can see career progression, then that works in our favour.
However, we must not be complacent. Just providing jobs for millennials won’t be enough on its own. Business leaders must create a stimulating and engaging environment for young adults and provide a clear vision for the future where employees can gain a sense of purpose and value in the work that they do.
The key concept behind this survey was based on career development. Young adults want longevity in their chosen career paths and this means that job security, promotion, future opportunities and sustainability are all very important.
If you cannot guarantee a rewarding career for young adults then maybe they will start looking around for other jobs; this is why it is so important that you focus on working with your people, listening to them and communicating with them.
Your employees want to feel safe, challenged and ultimately to know that they have a bright future.
Think about those young adults in your firm and how you lead those individuals to take the business forward. Can you do more to understand their desires and purpose? Focus your leadership on more communication and work together to deliver the future that they want to work towards.
Your employees are your best advocates. If they want a career with you, then create a working environment that rewards that commitment. It will reap rewards for you and for them, and will help you deliver sustainable change as your company grows.