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May 25, 2016
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June 8, 2016

Gallup reported in April that their monthly engagement survey for the US workforce hit an all-time high!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they were happy to report that for the first time since the survey began in 2011, a whopping 34% of Americans are engaged in their work! I know you can do the simple math, but it’s enlightening to think about it in numbers:   1 out of 3; 34 out of 100 or 340 out of 1000.  Look around your office and think of the impact.  Or, experience it when you call a customer service line and wonder why it’s so frustrating, or go shopping and wonder why no one is assisting you.  Your chances of good “engaged” help are only one out of three!

It’s ironic that the engagement percentage went up, because we know the number of Millennials in the workforce is rising, yet their engagement is the lowest of all generations.  Personally, I’m not into most of the stereotyping of the generations, but Gallup’s information is heavily research based, and their most recent report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, shows Millennials with only 29% engagement.  It increases to 32% for Gen Xers, 33% for Baby Boomers, and 45% for Traditionals.   55% of Millennials said they were “not engaged” (other options were actively engaged and actively disengaged) vs. a range of 41-50% for the rest of the generations.  So, when I said it was “ironic” that the engagement percentage went up, it seems to be a bubble or certainly not the trend.

Many view Millennials as job hoppers (and the report discusses this as well), but I see them as a generation who won’t settle for this lack of engagement.  And no one should. Millennials will keep going until they find engagement.  While I’d like to challenge them to create opportunities to use their strengths more often (as I tell people every day), the reality is that if organizations don’t assist them in doing so, they WILL lose them.  Back to the stereotypes I said I didn’t like: the reality is that many Traditionalists and Baby Boomers may not have been engaged , but they were significantly less likely to make a change – and not just now that they are 50-60 years old, but even back when they were in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

The Gallup report also states that 21% of Millennials changed jobs within the last year; THREE times more than non-Millennials.  60% of Millennials are currently open to a new job opportunity; 15% higher than non-Millennials.  Key statistics that prove this is happening, folks.  They are leaving organizations where they are not engaged.

So, what can we, as managers, supervisors, leaders, or human resources professionals do to inspire engagement?

  1. Help them create more opportunities to use their strengths. Gallup calls it Name, Claim and Aim!
  2. Help them connect their role with the spirit of the mission; does their role really make a difference in the organization? How?
  3. Share information with them that will help them develop. (formerly known as feedback – don’t think of it in those terms, though, it makes most people uncomfortable).  We all want it; Millennials MUST have it.  Weekly or MORE is a MUST.

Purple Ink can help you in all of these areas; give us a call to find out how!  Or, if you are a Millennial, just text us at 317 418 7327!

JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis is the Founder of Purple Ink and the ink pad, author of JoyPowered™: Intentionally Creating an Inspired Workspace, co-author of The JoyPowered™ Family, and co-host of The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast. JoDee has a passion for helping organizations and individuals discover their talents and do more or what they do well!

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