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Why all your millennial employees are quitting

Quitting job boxFlickr/Erin KellyTwo-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organisation by 2020.

New research finds two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organisation by 2020. A quarter see themselves elsewhere within the next year.

While you could argue that young workers have always been inclined to job hop (and millennials are less inclined to do so), their reasons for restlessness may have changed.

Young workers’ latest gripe? Insufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

That’s according to the fifth annual Global Millennials survey, cited on Bloomberg, for which Deloitte reached out to nearly 7,700 working college-educated professionals in 29 countries.

As many as 63% of respondents said their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

And it seems to be a key reason behind their willingness to leave: While 71% of those likely to leave in the next two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed, that number drops to 54% among those who are planning to stay beyond 2020.

As Punit Renjen, chief executive officer of Deloitte Global, told Bloomberg, young workers’ pursuit of leadership skills even at the expense of switching jobs is a new phenomenon.

Perhaps it has something to do with the recent trend of flattening organisations, which was highlighted recently in The Washington Post. In an effort to cut costs, organisations have removed levels of bureaucracy, which means there’s not much of a corporate ladder to climb anymore.

“The biggest driver of disengagement is people feeling like they’re stuck in a job, and there’s nothing for them there,” one expert told The Post. “It’s easier to quit your company and find a new job than find a new job within your own company.”

Restoring some semblance of a corporate ladder may require a good deal of structural reorganization. In the meantime, managers can take small steps to help their employees develop into leadership positions.

The Wall Street Journal recommends creating mentoring programs in which workers are paired with more senior employees at their company. You can also rotate your employees through different jobs, so they gain new knowledge and expertise.

As for individual employees, US News & World Report suggests being proactive instead of waiting for a leadership position to open up.

If you work for a large company, you can speak to someone in human resources and ask what you should be learning to reach the next level. You can also volunteer to take charge of a particular project, so that management recognises your capabilities.

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