Employee tenure is adapting

Topher Reynoso
January 21, 2024

A noticeable shift has occurred in employee tenure, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials, who tend to spend less time with employers compared to previous generations. Understanding this trend and the impact of positive off-boarding experiences is crucial for companies aiming to create lasting impressions and cultivate brand ambassadors out of their departing employees.

Gone are the days of pensions and lifetime employees. The numbers are showing a serious shift in employee tenure. CareerBuilder analyzed their extensive resume data to determine the average tenure of employees by generation. Boomers (born between 1946-1964) had an average tenure of 8.25 years per employer. Generation X (born between 1965-1978) came in around 5.2 years per employer. Millennials (born between 1981-1996) clocked in at 2.75 years per employer. Lastly, Generation Z (born between 1997-2012) is down to just 2.25 years per employer. Granted, some of that last one may be just limited data of a generation that’s still very early in its career but the trend is obvious.

Employers are finding themselves hiring with higher frequency and people are finding themselves in the liminal space between one job and another a lot more often than they did in the past. That means a company will have a lot more former employees these days than they would have in previous generations. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. Smart employers are finding ways to make that work to their advantage, turning turnover into a way to build brand ambassadors and create a revolving door for quality employees.

Off-boarding can become a way to strengthen your company and brand. HR professionals consider exit interviews an effective tool for identifying workplace issues. These interviews provide an avenue for departing employees to voice their experiences, shedding light on organizational strengths and areas needing improvement. Putting strong exit interview practices in place will give you the insights necessary to grow.

Once you have that data though, you have to start acting on it. Addressing concerns raised during exit interviews can pave the way for positive changes, fostering a more conducive work environment. Research published in the Harvard Business Review highlights that systematically analyzing feedback from exit interviews can lead to improvements in employee retention, productivity, and overall organizational effectiveness.

A study by Glassdoor suggests that 66% of job seekers consider company reviews and employee feedback pivotal in their decision-making process. When companies demonstrate a commitment to listening to departing employees' feedback and making tangible improvements, it resonates positively with current employees and potential candidates, enhancing the employer brand. Negative feedback grabs a lot more attention from review-readers than positive feedback does, unfortunately. Finding ways to minimize the nastygrams that former employees leave you on places like Glassdoor can go a long way in helping you maintain and build your brand. One great way to control that is to show each employee a supportive off-boarding process that gives them the sense of human dignity that we all deserve. So think of an investment in the off-boarding process as an investment in future on-boarding as well.

Additionally, effective off-boarding practices, including career transition assistance and maintaining connections with alumni employees, lead to an increase in re-hire rates. Supporting departing employees beyond the exit interview stage contributes to a positive legacy, encouraging goodwill and potential future re-engagement.

In today's competitive landscape, harnessing the potential of off-boarding feedback is imperative for organizational success. Exit interviews serve as a catalyst for organizational evolution, while supportive off-boarding practices reinforce a positive employer brand, showcasing a company's commitment to growth and employee well-being.

By valuing the insights garnered through off-boarding feedback, companies can continuously refine their strategies, fortify their brand, and foster a more resilient and vibrant workplace culture. Remember, an employee’s exit isn’t just an end but an opportunity for introspection and growth, propelling your organization towards a brighter future. We’re dedicated to making it easier for employers to support employees as they leave. We provide resources and tools that help employees experience a softer landing, transitioning them to a health insurance that meets their budget, for example, and giving them expert guidance so they can confidently say that they made the right choice with their family’s health. If your employees feel supported on their way out and less like a rug was ripped out from under them, you’re a lot more likely to have a brand ambassador than a brand detractor.

Topher Reynoso
January 21, 2024
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