Leaders and managers are very worried about high levels of turnover among Millennials, and they are right to be. In most organizations, turnover among new employees has been going up ever so slightly but steadily over the past two decades.

Turnover is by far the highest among employees with up to two years’ tenure, and next highest among employees between two and five years’ tenure. Some of this is a function of youth, but there are also generational issues at play. Millennials are coming of age in a labor market that presumes total job mobility. Meanwhile, they are more likely than those of earlier generations to see their job as just one piece in their life puzzle, rather than as the first, indispensable anchor piece without which they cannot build a happy life and family. To Millennials seeking to customize the perfect life and career, the job is a less important puzzle piece than, say, where they live, what schedule they keep, opportunities to participate in certain activities, or proximity to friends or family. Add all these factors together, and it’s easy to see that Millennials are likely to have the highest early-career-stage turnover of any generation in history.

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