As Steve Jobs said in his Stanford commencement address, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.”
Wisdom for ourselves
We know that we have to love our work. It would be foolish for an entrepreneur to start a business for which there was no passion. I would sincerely hope that we love our company and have a passion for our work.
Wisdom for employees
Decades ago an employer hired and an employee committed to a long term arrangement for working together. In the last decade employees have jumped from one corporate ladder to another. According to Forbes magazine Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials “Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!”
Why are employees job-jumping? As of 2012, the average employee stays at each job for 4.4 years; the youngest employees expect to have a tenure of closer to 2.2 years.
Human Resource managers are wary of hiring short-term employees. By the time they are fully trained and integrated into the company, they are already looking for their next move. One to two years allows the employee to learn a great deal about the company but not for the company to gain a great deal of productivity and profitability from the job-jumping employee.
Job-jumping has become more the norm than the exception. The danger is that as the job market tightens, the employee may find themselves unable to secure a new lateral or upward move. In essence the National Football Free Agency has filtered into corporate America. An employee stays until another company offers them a sweeter salary or benefit package.
Corporate secrets and corporate security are available to the highest bidder in the job-jumping employee market. What effect will this job-jumping short-termitis have on teamwork and cooperation? Will it seriously hamper genuine collaboration? My opinion is that it probably will diminish genuine relationship building and thus lower productivity and profitability.
It is very costly to recruit, hire and train new employees. It takes several months to get them up to full productivity, profitability and recover the hiring costs (both money and time).
Why are employees job-jumping? Are they restless to move up the corporate ladder faster, looking for a broader skill set, or dissatisfied with their current duties?
Jim Collins book Good to Great speaks about not only hiring the correct employees but placing those employees in the ideal job for their skills and interests. A recent survey suggested that 80% of American workers did not feel that they were working in their area of greatest skill. As employers we have the responsibility to hire the right employees and place them in their area of greatest skill and interest.
If we want our productivity and profitability to go up, and we do, we need to consider our responsibility to hire wisely. We must increase employee satisfaction, productivity and profitability.