Shifting Loyalties: How Younger Workers are Changing the Rules of the Workplace

Companies are accepting the fact that younger employees are not likely to stay in their roles as long as their predecessors. Here’s why that’s not a bad thing.

Company Loyalty Less of a Priority for Younger Workers

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A few decades ago, securing a role in your field after college was akin to making a life-long decision. Workers settled into their companies and perhaps eventually promoted to bigger jobs within the same walls. 

Millennials and Gen-Z Embrace Job-Hopping

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While generations past were happy to stay put for the long haul, younger workers from the millennial and Gen-Z crowds are less prone to sitting still.

For these employees, it’s more realistic to stay in a job for two to three years and then move on to another organization.

Finding New Ways to Progress Careers

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Job-hopping used to be considered unprofessional, and having a long list of employers on your resume showed a lack of loyalty and commitment.

But now, more people are starting to embrace the idea that making relatively frequent moves can be ambitious and career-savvy.

Salary Increases More Likely When Switching Companies

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Many employees find that they’re more likely to receive larger bumps in their salaries if they move to a different company, even if they take on the same role.

People are also finding that they can move up the corporate ladder more quickly if they don’t wait around for internal promotions.

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

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Instead, applying for higher roles with other companies has proven to be fruitful for young workers. Some people may find success by climbing the ladder this way and then re-applying to work at a past company where they enjoyed the atmosphere but felt stuck in their role. 

The Boomerang Employee

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So, companies are faced with the question of whether they should consider rehiring those employees for new roles if they come back down the road. If you ask Simon Cox, CTO for ServiceNow, the answer is yes.

ServiceNow Exec Says Boomerang Employees Are an Asset

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At the MoneyLive Summit this week, Cox addressed the trend of younger workers advancing their careers by moving around within their industries.

He advocated for companies to stay friendly with alumni and bring them back on if it was mutually beneficial at a later time. 

“Gen Z and Millennials are Curious”

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“One thing I’ve seen organizations start to look at is their alumni,” Cox said. “Gen Z and millennials are curious, they want different experiences, they’re not going to have a job for life at the bank.”

Welcoming Back Past Talent

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“So let them go. Keep in touch with them, see how they do, and eventually, you can welcome them back,” Cox continued.

Companies Embrace Networking with Alumni

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Cox is not alone in his opinion. Many companies celebrate their connections to their alumni by keeping in touch using network programs and social media.

In some companies, alumni may even be given preferential consideration for new roles.

Diversifying Hiring Teams

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Cox stressed the importance of having Gen Z and millennial employees participate in new hire processes because they understand the needs of their peers.

When the only people involved in hiring new employees are older, they risk alienating new talent.

An Old Concept Made New

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The idea of boomerang employees is not new, but Cox says it is something that companies should be aware of and open to.

Boomerang employees are workers who leave a company but are rehired later on, either in the same role or at a higher level.

Boomerang Employees Make Onboarding Easy

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Some experts, like Cox, think boomerang hires are a great asset to employers because they seamlessly integrate back into a familiar company culture.

Bringing back employees who already know the ropes saves time and avoids concerns about personality clashes. 

Creative Concerns

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However, others worry that recycling employees could mean that new ideas can’t find their way into organizations. 

A Study of Boomerang Employees 

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The Harvard Business Review released the results of a study last year that showed how boomerang employees affect companies.

Most of the time, these alumni come back to their originating company within just over a year.

Pay Increases for Returning Workers

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When they returned, they averaged a pay increase of 25% higher than they were making when they left. These results certainly incentivize workers to consider leaving their employers.

Returning Employees are Progressing, Not Regressing

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The study’s authors said that it’s important to treat boomerang employees not as if they’re regressing by returning to the company but instead to acknowledge that their return is a part of their career progression.

Many Boomerang Employees Come Back in Higher Roles

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“40% of the boomerang employees in our dataset were previously individual contributors who returned to their former firms in managerial positions, suggesting that this can be a very effective way to entice people to come back,” they said.

Employees May Have Loved the Company, but Felt Stagnant, Says Cox

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Cox said employers needed to realize that many boomerang employees never wanted to part ways with their companies but felt that their opportunities were limited in their current positions.

So, those employees sought experience and growth opportunities elsewhere.

Bringing Outside Experiences Back is “a Positive”

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“They want to come back and use those experiences for yours and their benefit – surely that’s a positive?” Cox asked.

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The post Shifting Loyalties: How Younger Workers are Changing the Rules of the Workplace first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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