This post is third in a series that started with debunking the myth that Millennials are job hoppers. The post that followed dug deeper into what Millennials are looking for from their employers. This post draws from both of those posts to offer specific coaching strategies for Millennials.

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Last week I posted data debunking the myth of Millennials as promiscuous job hoppers as compared with previous generations. On average, 20-24 year olds stay in their jobs about 1.5 years and 25-34 year olds stick for about 3 years, and those numbers have remained consistent over the past three decades. (Click here for the full article.)

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As a leader you’re responsible to help your direct reports improve their performance. A big part of that involves coaching. Unfortunately, the term “coaching” has taken on a negative connotation in many organizations. To mention that a person is receiving “coaching and counseling” is, sadly, not a good thing. That’s because “coaching and counseling” is now a euphemism for “disciplinary action”. This post is not about how to discipline.

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A client called me last week to talk about Millennials and turnover. Turnover has tripled over where it was a decade ago for their entry-level management positions, which are typically held by people under 35. They’re trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding.

One of the first questions we discussed was, “Is it just this generation?”

This statistic captures the current consensus about Millennials and suggests that the answer is a resounding YES:

91% of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years.

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During a client visit more than 15 years ago, the president of a manufacturing company in Atlanta was driving me to the airport while discussing with me the phenomenal talents of one of his leaders. I asked the simple question, “What if this leader vanished tomorrow, what would be the impact?” The president quickly pulled off to the side of the highway and with an ashen look stared at me not able to provide an answer. It was clear that he had not fully comprehended the full value of this leader and the chaos and stress that would transpire should such an event occur. Unfortunately, this president’s thinking is not unusual; in fact, it is quite common. For example, Talent Plus, Inc. recently conducted a survey on this very topic. The results showed that while seventy-three percent strongly agreed that succession management is important, only twenty-three percent of those surveyed also strongly agreed that their company had excellent succession management plans. Thus, while many believe in the importance of succession management planning, few organizations actually make it a reality. Today, succession planning is as important as it was 15 years ago.  Preparing for unanticipated losses requires vigilance and predictive tools. Long-term success for any organization is dependent upon working in the short term with an eye to the future. Companies that identify and develop the next generation of top talent are well postured to lead future growth and sustainability. Because every business outcome is the result of the successes of its human capital, succession planning is an executive’s responsibility.

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