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Will Work for Meaning: Engaging and Retaining Talent

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By most accounts, the Millennial generation is the most exhaustively studied and researched generation of all time. Organizations obsess and scrutinize the data to see what the implications are for business and the future of the workforce. What do Millennials want? What motivates them? How can we keep them—and keep them engaged?

Making sweeping, generalized statements about any large group of people is an easy trap to fall into, and that’s often the case with the way statistics about Millennial turnover and retention rates are interpreted. According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2016, 44% are willing to leave their current employer for a new organization or to do something different within the next two years. Two in three expect to leave by 2020.

The oversimplified, boiled-down conclusion: This is a group of perennial job-hoppers who don’t have any real allegiance to their companies. But dig a little deeper, and you might find that the bigger story here is that many companies aren’t giving Millennials much reason to stay. And the issue may not be so neatly tied to a single generation.

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What Motivates People? Look for Clues in How They Think (VIDEO)

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In today’s business world, where the large majority of the work is knowledge work, each day can be different and challenging in its own way. Constant change means that most employees are dealing with simultaneous projects, shifting priorities, complex problems, lots of demands, and a never-ending stream of disruptions and distractions.

It’s not just a challenge to stay focused in this environment; it’s hard to stay motivated and engaged. In fact, recent research by Bersin by Deloitte attributes low employee engagement levels to the overwhelmed employee.

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5 Employee Engagement Questions Every Leader Should Be Asking

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A few months ago, Josh Bersin proclaimed that, after all the years of corporate handwringing over the war for talent, the battle is finally over. But before you exhale and move on to the next issue, it should also be noted that he declared talent the winner. 

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