Job Hopping Trend. Who’s Fault Is It Really?

We’ve all seen the articles about high turnover, and the trend for employees to change jobs much more frequently today than ever before. Everything I’ve read talks about generational differences and how today’s younger cohort are more aggressively seeking to better their position or get more money and how they just don’t care about loyalty like people did in the past. This “research” looks to me to be pretty much anecdotal.

Because, the more I speak with people, (employees and employers alike), the more I disagree. Yes, certainly there are people who are the classic “job hoppers.” But I want to talk about the larger issue and the larger numbers, the issue really behind the job hopping trend… people who change jobs because they absolutely have to.

I’ve never met a candidate who is looking for a job for the next 2 years. My experience is that people are genuinely looking for a “home”; A place and a leader they can work hard for, be recognized for their efforts and results, a place where they can do fulfilling and meaningful work and earn a reasonable income. They don’t ask a lot actually.

So why is this disturbing trend of career moves continuing to grow? Well, there are many reason. I’ve outlined 3 of the more common observations:

1) Poor Leadership – Oh the horror stories. It seems that business owners, managers and execs have forgotten what it means to be a “leader.” Old school ‘management’ just doesn’t cut it anymore and people simply can not put up with it.

2) Poorly Managed Expectations – Not being upfront about the job, the compensation, the quotas, the environment, the company culture etc. Feeling lied to, even if not deliberate, is a major source of dissatisfaction and leads directly to employees looking for their next hop.

3) Poorly Implemented Change – People hate change. However, business is an ever flowing and evolving thing, and “change”, as the saying goes, “is the only constant.” Managing that change and implementing it just right, is a critical exercise. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing, if done right. Explain what’s going on, why change is needed, what the change will be, and if possible (or appropriate), maybe even ask for their input. Instead of feeling betrayed, your workforce will feel respected, appreciated, engaged and included. These things lead to loyalty.

So before we start pointing fingers at this next generation, or at any generation frankly, for being “Job Hoppers”, let’s remember that every business on earth is a people business. Nothing gets manufactured, mined, invested, healed, taught or sold without employees. Let’s remember that they are not human “resources”, they are not “head count.” They are people… with families, who have real hopes and dreams, mortgages and car payments, who want to be respected, appreciated and paid. Just like you.

Written by David Ford