…Because you screwed our parents over.
I watched it happen to my mom. She busted her chops for years, working overtime (unpaid), and leading an understaffed and constantly dwindling team (because: cost cutting) with zero budget for anything as simple and actually beneficial as coffee for the team (she bought that herself). And you know the thanks she got for it, for getting corporate-that-shall-not-be-named through audit-after-audit unscathed time and again? After 15 years with the company, she was asked to re-apply for her job, because they were looking to downsize her team. She got retrenched.
It wasn’t just my mom, so many of us from my “millennial” generation watched this happen with our parents, and it had a very real effect on our lives. So forgive us if we have some trust issues when it comes to committing ourselves to one organisation for life.
Of course this isn’t the only dynamic at play and it’s definitely not the case for everyone, nonetheless, when this idea was shared with me recently (thanks Craig) and it offered a perspective that I hadn’t considered before, I felt it was worth sharing.
The ‘not loyal’ argument also isn’t unique to millennials, articles about how we have different desires from work than our parents did, are a dime a dozen – but the research doesn’t back the claims. “In fact, an IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study showed that only 0 to 2 percent of work attitude differences can be attributed to generation”* So it’s not just ‘us’ with the commitment issues, our parents also safeguard their worth more than they did before. The saying ‘once bitten- twice shy’ comes to mind.
We live in a world driven by experiences, and at work employee experience* is becoming something companies can no longer ignore if they want to attract and retain the right talent. Maya Angelou said it, we can all relate to it:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
(neither will their children).
*Employee Experience is defined as: “A set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organisation.”