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What Does Loyalty Mean To Young Leaders?

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What Does Loyalty Mean To Young Leaders?

Many organizations today are desperately trying to hold on to their most gifted talent. What companies are finding is that it is one thing to recruit the strongest new talent and quite another thing to retain them and keep them highly engaged. Especially in the financial and technology fields, there seems to be such a high rate of a “revolving-door” syndrome. When I work with senior leaders in these industries I hear the same groans:

“What’s up with these young kids? Why are they so eager to leave so quickly?”

“I have spent so much time getting them up to speed just to see these young leaders exit.”

“We can’t change the way we do business just to accommodate their lifestyles.”

Perhaps you have heard some of these points of view and are wondering how your organization can evolve or should evolve. Well make no mistake about it; an organization’s survival depends on how well it can retain its talent. But don’t despair because a new 2018 report from Deloitte on the Millennials and Generation Z is here to give us some insights into what loyalty means to these two generations.

An organization’s survival today depends on how well it can retain its talent.

According to the Deloitte 2018 Millennial Survey loyalty levels are on the downward shift. In fact 43% of Millennials expressed they will be leaving their current jobs within two years and only 28% say they will stay beyond five years. Those employed from Generation Z responded even lower with 61% saying they would leave in two years if given the choice.

What does loyalty mean to young leaders?

Here are the top four responses of what loyalty means to younger leaders:

1. Financial Rewards and Benefits

Even though Millennials expressed in the survey that companies should not be driven by profits, these leaders wanted organizations to “share the wealth”, provide good jobs and boost their lives. For Gen Z financial rewards placed second. So what must employers do? Be cognizant of competitive salaries and perks as well as explain in what areas they were profitable. Also, help young leaders see the big picture and how they are contributing to it.

2. Positive Workplace Culture

If a young leader’s success depends on how they fit into an organization’s culture, it is essential to make the workplace a positive environment where each individual feels they belong. Generation Z actually put positive work culture as the most import factor for loyalty. Here are some ways to create a positive work culture:

  • Model clear and respectful communication at all levels
  • Be strategic listeners by making sure a complete message is heard without interruptions
  • Encourage honest feedback and create one-on-one connections
  • Follow through on what you say you will do
  • Leave judgment outside of the workplace

Create a positive work culture by encouraging honest feedback and respectful communication.

3. Flexibility

Millennials and Gen Z see flexibility as key to joining any company. While some senior leaders may want their teams to be physically at their desks, younger leaders are more open to working more flexibly. What can that look like? In many accounting firms that I have worked with, new non-mandatory Saturday hours during busy season have been instituted as well as focusing more on the end result rather than on hours spent on an engagement. With technology, organizations can offer flexible schedules and timeframes.

Related: Is It Time To Redefine Your Leadership Story?

4. Opportunities For Continuous Learning

As a proponent of lifelong learning for all leaders, I believe it is critical for companies to offer growth to all levels of leadership, especially young leaders. Many firms are meeting this demand so well by bringing in special events and programming as well as running online learning opportunities. To cultivate a continuous learning environment:

  • Send out a survey to find out where the gaps are in young leaders’ career paths
  • Ask leaders if they prefer to learn online or in a classroom setting or a blend
  • Consider creating a coaching program and match younger leaders with more seasoned ones
  • Encourage outside learning opportunities in local universities or online MOOCs

What additional ways do you or your organization define loyalty and how have you fostered loyalty among young leaders?

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