Every Three Years: The Impact of Millennial Job Hopping on Workplace Culture


Feeling the strain of frequent team changes at work? Discover how job hopping is reshaping workplace culture and what it means for you and your organization's future.

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Every Three Years…

91% of Millennials expect to change jobs every 3 years.

That stat is pretty staggering, especially considering the ramifications to organizations.

Organizational and team stability allow trust, culture, morale, skill, productivity, long-term planning, customer relationships, and more to thrive. Yet, these organizational necessities become severely limited if our teams feel more like revolving doors.

The Good OLD Days

When I was growing up and deciding on a college major, my parents (strongly) encouraged me to choose something practical. Why? They were part of a generation where you took decent job with a solid company, accepted incremental raises and the occasional promotion, all in hopes of retiring with a modest 401k or pension.

That was my father’s plan. That was the plan for his peers. And that was the plan he wanted (and expected) for me.

The Times They HAVE Changed

Enter the new workforce and their expectations. This post is not an evaluation of the Millennial culture but more an assessment of the consequences of this behavior.

While the Millennial worker may benefit from these ongoing job changes, the organizations they leave and enter suffer with each change.

What happens to a team, department, division, or organization when the team, department, division, and organization lacks any stability?

Trust, culture, morale, skill, cost of recruiting and training, productivity, long-term planning, customer relationships, and more suffer when current staff members leave and new team members join. The more frequent these changes, the more the transitions influence the team’s well-being.

What Should We Do?

The reality of job change is a ship that has sailed. I do believe companies and organizations can create a work environment that better retains staff, but there’s no turning back this transition reality in totality. The impacts will continue, and our organizations will suffer.

So, what should we do?

The answer for non-leadership staff is different than anyone leading others, but in a way, most everyone leads something. Organizations can limit these transitional disruptions by better understanding how leadership transitions affect teams and individuals.

That may sound obvious, but very few leaders, teams, and organizations know what to do when someone is new.

To limit the impact on the organizational culture and team trust (and everything else), creating the most expedited and seamless journey to normality is required.

Planning for All These Pending Transitions

Unless you’re uniquely different than the stats, you, too, may change jobs every three years. Or at least change jobs more frequently than previous generations. This means you’ll disrupt your previous team or organization and interrupt your new one. Every. Few. Years.

Your ability to navigate leadership transitions determines your success as a leader in each new role.

If you’re in an organization and not leaving, someone else is. And soon. If they are a teammate, you can help them integrate. If you lose your leader, the entire team may be turned upside down.

In these situations, you’re understanding of successful transitions can help your new leader, teammates, and peers lower the transition disruption.

And finally, if you’re in an HR role, you must understand how to make these leadership changes more seamless and less impactful. Maintaining any organizational continuity in the face of persistent change is nearly impossible.

This Is Why I Wrote Big Shoes To Fill

This topic is too critical and complicated to resolve in a blog post. If you’ve not yet pre-ordered your copy of Big Shoes To Fill, I can’t encourage you enough to do so today. Not because I want to sell books but because your career depends on your ability to transition well.

While you wait for your copy to arrive on January 16, here are a few things to consider:

  • How frequently have you experienced leadership transitions on your team or organization?
  • How have these transitions positively and negatively affected you, your team, and your organization?
  • When was your last job change? How did you leave your previous team? How did it feel to transition into your new team?
  • Do you have plans to change jobs in the next year? How are you preparing your team and yourself for this transition?
  • What’s been most challenging about the leadership transitions you’ve already experienced?
  • What would you do first if you were to enter a new leadership role tomorrow?
  • How can you plan today to leave well in the future?

Again, planning for this new organizational reality is a requirement for modern workplace and leadership success. How are you planning to succeed?


After you pre-order Big Shoes To Fill, make sure to head over HERE to grab all the FREE BONUS MATERIALS, like a companion guide for your unique leadership situation.