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Top 46 Resource And Optimization Influencers (Plus A Few Others)

Jen Cohen Crompton

resource and optimizationFACT: According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, around a third of all the food produced in the world ends up being wasted somewhere along the production and consumption line.

FACT: Around the world, there are 884 million people who lack access to fresh water; by 2040, at least 3.5 billion people will run short of water.

FACT: The population living in urban areas is projected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion in 2050. Our environment is changing, and so must the way we do business.

These facts about our changing landscape affects all of us in one way or another, and they all point to one commonality – we need to learn how to optimize our resources for more efficient and effective management to ensure the sustainability of businesses, the economy, and the environment.

As companies realize this urgent call to action, they are working to more properly manage their supply chains to reduce waste and improve efficiency, and looking at sustainability and corporate social responsibility to limit, or reverse, the negative effects on resources.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of influencers who can share thoughts and insights on how the world is changing and what we can do to support positive change for businesses and for the greater good.

Here is a list of 46 influencers in supply chain management and sustainability, and 10 companies providing useful information. Enjoy!

Supply chain management influencers

1. Kevin O’Meara – Kevin has over 20 yeasr of experience with logistics and supply chain operations. He enjoys working with all things logistical and supply chain-related and has a special passion for alternative energy.

Twitter: @Logisticsexpert – Website: http://10xlogistics.blogspot.com/

2. Jeff Ashcroft – Jeff is a marketing, supply chain, and retail logistics specialist. He is an agent for green, RFID, social and airships.

Twitter: @JeffAshcroft – Website: scigroup.com

3. Steve Brady – Steve is a professor and has his PhD in supply chain. He is a consultant in areas of inventory, collaborative SCM, and space logistics

Twitter: @SCMProfessor – Website: http://theprofessornotes.com/

4. Sherrie Miller – Sherrie has an MBA and degrees in supply chain management and management information systems, and is interested in strategy, innovation, CRM, and BPM.

Twitter: @SupplyChainSher – Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sherriemiller

5. Martin Murray – Martin is an author and About.com expert for logistics and supply chain.

Twitter: @AboutLogistics  – Website: logistics.about.com

6. Brian Hamrock – Brian is a supply chain industry expert, consultant, and social media guru.

Twitter: @scmtechtrends – Website: N/A

7. Dave Meyer – Dave is a senior environmental heath and safety advisor. He is an experienced sustainable business practitioner, advocating for sustainability and supply chain management.

Twitter: @DRMeyer1 – Website: valuestream2009.wordpress.com

8. Dave Inglis – Dave is all about providing practical supply chain management, process mapping, and business improvement.

Twitter: @SCMDude – Website: louisvilleconsult.co.uk

9. Cheryl Berklich – Cheryl has expertise in building top-performing, world-class procurement operations. She has a proven track record of driving dynamic cost reductions and productivity in expense and capital operations for small, mid-size, Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 settings.

Twitter: @cherylberklich – Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cherylberklich

10. Dustin Mattison – Dustin is an education innovator, social entrepreneur, teacher, and writer. He is interested in building knowledge platforms that create unique learning environments and interviews supply chain experts for the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community.

Twitter: @dustinmattison – Webite: http://dustinmattison.com/

11. Matt Wilkerson – Matt is a supply chain, operations, and technology transformation leader.

Twitter:@SupplyChainIT – Website: synthesis-advisory.com

12. Mike Stay – Mike is a general manager with experience in leader operations, supply chain, and logistics.

Twitter: @MikeStay – Website: linkedin.com/in/mikestay

13. Tony Colwell – Tony is an executive interim manager and consultant in procurement, supply chain, and change management. He is passionate about stakeholder engagement and effective process.

Twitter: @tonycolwell – Website: acuityconsultants.com/wp/

14. Lisa Ellram – Lisa is a supply chain researcher, educator, and professional interested in sustainability, value enhancement, cost management, and offshoring/outsourcing.

Twitter: @SupplyChainLisa – Website: N/A

15. Paul Snell – Paul is a procurement and supply chain journalist at Supply Management and Supply Business.

Twitter: @procurementpaul – Website: supplymanagement.com

16. Lisa Anderson – Lisa is a supply chain expert and business consultant who helps manufacturers and distributors elevate business performance.

Twitter: @LisaAndersonLMA – Website: lma-consultinggroup.com  

17. Kenneth Kowal – Kenneth focuses on supply chain logistics, ecommerce order fulfillment, and social media. He has worked with hundreds of companies, from lone entrepreneurs with a vision to Fortune 100 companies, on virtually every aspect of their logistics supply chain.

Twitter: @kennethkowal – Website: logisticsbi.com

18. Randy McClure – Randy is advancing transportation and supply chain management through IT innovation. His current focus is to help shippers and transportation carriers achieve 100 percent on-time delivery and leverage 100 percent of transportation costs.

Twitter: @mcislog

19. Mark Gavoor – Mark is a supply chain and quality consultant, writer, speaker, and professor.

Twitter: @mgavoor – Website: http://cr-supplychain.com

20. Tom Napier – Tom focuses on discussing supply chain management, innovation, logistics, and project management ideas.

Twitter: @Tom_Napier – Website:  PSIengineering.com

21. Paul Baris – Paul is a supply chain guru and senior executive, involved with purchasing, distribution, forecasting, and transportation. He is a supply chain transformer and problem-solver with extensive experience driving results and changing cultures.

Twitter: @scguru – Website: N/A

Sustainability Influencers:

22. Marc Gunther – Marc is a writer and speaker on business and sustainability, editor-at-large Guardian Sustainable Business Us, and a contributor at Fortune.

Twitter: @MarcGunther – Website: marcgunther.com

23. Jim McClelland – Jim is a sustainable futurist, writer, and speaker. As a journalist, he  has written supplements to The Times, and has been quoted in The Guardian, Telegraph and Sunday Times.

Twitter: @SustMeme – Website: jimtheeditor.wordpress.com

24. Andrew Winston – Andrew is a globally recognized business consultant-speaker-writer, hoping to change minds. He is an author Green to Gold, Green Recovery, and The Big Pivot.

Twitter: @AndrewWinston – Website: andrewwinston.com

25. John Elkington – John is the co-founder of Volans, an environmental and sustainability data service. He wrote 18 books and blogs at Volans, CSRWire, and Guardian.

Twitter: @volansjohn – Website: volans.com

26. Chris Price – Chris is a young profession and entrepreneur in LA who is deep into everything green and sustainable.

Twitter: @ahtohg – Website: N/A

27. Dave Stangis – VP Public Affairs/CR for the Campbell’s CSR Foundation. He has experience in working across all levels of public corporations (Board of Directors to front lines), non-profit agencies, and with policymakers.

Twitter: @DaveStangis – Website: campbellsoupcompany.com/csr

28. Hunter Lovins – Hunter is a social entrepreneur who consults to large corporations, small businesses, communities, and dozens of nations around the world. She was named the 2008 Sustainability Pioneer by the European financial community for her 30 years of work framing the sustainability movement. She is also the Millennium TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet.

Twitter: @hlovis – Website: natcapsolutions.org

29. Jeffrey D. Sachs – Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the author of To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace.

Twitter: @JeffDSachs – Website: jeffsachs.org

30. Jo Confino – Jo is an executive editor of the Guardian, chairman and editorial director of Guadian Sustainable Business, and advisor to Guardian Media Group.

Twitter: @joconfino – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/profile/joconfino

31. Christian Figueres – Christian is an executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and her passion is fighting climate change.

Twitter: @CFigueres – Website: unfccc.int

32. John Friedman – John Friedman is an award-winning communications professional and internationally recognized sustainability expert with more than 20 years of experience in internal and external communications, and a decade in corporate responsibility and sustainability. He currently works within Sodexo Corporate Responsibility Communications and is a Huffington Post blogger.

Twitter: @JohnFriedman – Website: huffingtonpost.com/john-friedman

33. Leon Kaye – Leon has over 2500 articles published on The Guardian, Triple Pundit, Inhabitat and Earth911 since 2009. He has insight on issues including environmental sustainability, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, water stewardship, and clean energy.

Twitter: @LeonKaye – Website:  greengopost.com

34. Tim Mohin – Tim is an author of Changing Business from the Inside Out. He is the director of Corporate Responsibility at AMD and has worked in CSR at Apple and Intel, and in policy at EPA and the Senate.

Twitter: @TimMohinAMD – Website: http://www.amd.com/us/aboutamd/corporate-information/corporate-responsibility/Pages/information.aspx

35. William McDonough – William is a designer, advisor, and co-author of Cradle to Cradle. He is a TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet who is changing the design of the world.

Twitter: @billmcdonough – Website: mcdonough.com

36. David Quilty – David is the founder of the daily environmental web magazine, The Good Human, and developed it into a well-respected and widely-sourced “green” brand. 

Twitter: @thegoodhuman – Website: thegoodhuman.com

37. Mike Barry – Mike is the director of Sustainable Business Marks and Spencer. He was voted Sustainable Business innovator of the year in 2011 and is leading the Plan A journey.

Twitter: @planamikebarry – Website: https://twitter.com/planamikebarry

38. Ramon Arratia – Ramon is the Sustainability Director for Interface EMEAI. He is an author of the book, Full Product Transparency and is avidly campaigning for radical sustainability.

Twitter: @RamonArratia – Website: interfacecutthefluff.com

39. Peter Gleick – Peter is the President of Pacific Institute. He is a climate/water scientist and a member of the National Academy of Science.

Twitter: @PeterGleick – Website: gleick.com

40. Sally Uren – Sally is the CEO of Forum For The Future. She is on a mission to create a sustainable future and focuses on sustainable business, sustainable food, and change.

Twitter: @sallyuren – Website: forumforthefuture.org

41. Stephanie Moram – Stephanie is an educational environmental lifestyle blogger and social media consultant. She is a freelance writer for ecosnobberysucks.com and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Good Girl Gone Green.

Twitter: @GGirlGGreen – Website:  ecosnobberysucks.com

42. Alexandra Michalko – Alexandra is a CSR/sustainability professional (currently at REI) with a decade of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors across industries. She has an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management with concentrations in strategy, environmental economics, and social entrepreneurship.

Twitter: @AlexRMichalko – Website: sustainablevalue.wordpress.com

43. Cindy Hoots – Cindy is a believer that a company’s true character is revealed by what it does when no one is watching. She is engaging stakeholders through their CSR initiative and sustainability issues.

Twitter: @ethicalbiz – Website: N/A

44. Beth Terry – Beth is attempting to live plastic-free and blogging all about it since 2007. She is advocating for the movement that we all could lead a plastic-free life.

Twitter: @PlasticfreeBeth – Website: myplasticfreelife.com

45. Steve R – Steve is all about sustainability – social responsibility, corporate and personal responsibility, energy, housing, and food and water conservation.

Twitter: @SustainablSteve – Website: N/A

46. Sarah Wechsberg – Sarah is a foodie, entrepreneur and vegan. She is passionate about sustainable business and a sustainable food system.

Twitter: @TheEcofoodie – Website: N/A

…and here are some companies to follow for supply chain management

Supply Chain Network – Supply Chain Network is a network developed to connect supply chain and logistics professionals to the people and information they need.

Twitter: @SupplyChainNtwk – Website: http://www.supplychainnetwork.com

Inbound Logistics – Inbound Logistics is an educational and supply chain resource for businesses seeking to better match demand to supply, and orient operations to support that shift.

Twitter: @ILMagazine – Website: http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/index.php

SupplyChainToday.com – Supply Chain Today offers social and business information relating to innovation, collaboration, and strategy.

Twitter: @SupplyChainBlog – Website: http://www.supplychaintoday.com/ 

Supply Chain Digest – Supply Chain offers supply chain related news and insights.

Twitter: @scdigest – Website: http://www.scdigest.com/

Supply Chain Management Revieve (SCMR) – SCMR is a magazine with content geared toward supply chain management professionals.

Twitter: @SCMR – Website: http://www.scmr.com/

Sustainability:

TreeHugger.com – Treehuggers shares links, ideas, and opens communication to foster conversations about all things green.

Twitter: @TreeHugger – Website: http://www.treehugger.com/

HuffPost Green – Huffington Post Green features the latest news on energy, environment, animals, and plenty more “green” content.

Twitter: @HuffPostGreen – Website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/green/

Guardian Environment – The Guardian Environment offers green news, commentary, and more.

Twitter: @guardianeco – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/environment

Grist – Grist is an online new organization that uses humor to interpret green issues with the overall goal of inspiring environmental action.

Twitter: @grist – Website: http://grist.org/

Sustainable Business – Sustainable Business is the global voice for cutting edge sustainability comment, debate, and expert insight.

Twitter: @GuardianSustBiz – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business

————-

See other influencer lists

 

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About Jen Cohen Crompton

Jen Cohen Crompton is a SAP Blogging Correspondent reporting on big data, cloud computing, enterprise mobility, analytics, sports and tech, and anything else innovation-related. When she's not blogging, she can be caught marketing, using social media and/or presenting at conferences around the world. Disclosure: Jen is being compensated by SAP to produce a series of articles on the innovation topics covered on this site. The opinions reflected here are her own.

Why B2B E-Commerce Is Prime For Disruption

Stuart O'Neill

The same market forces that created consumer-centric businesses like Afterpay and Deliveroo are at work again – but this time among B2B organizations.

With the sector’s reliance on long-term contracts and traditional relationship building, B2B might seem an odd contrast with these digital businesses largely borne out of consumer frustrations. But with online services leading consumers to expect personalized and seamless experiences in all digital interactions, the B2B e-commerce sector is primed for change.

We’re witnessing the digital evolution of the manufacturing sector, and with this change comes opportunity. For example, Forrester predicts the U.S. B2B e-commerce sector will grow to $1.1 trillion by 2020.

This growth opportunity extends to Australia, and manufacturers not responding will risk losing out to their competitors who are committed to delivering the same rich experiences to businesses that are delivered to consumers.

Traditionally, manufacturers have had difficulty building one seamless experience for buyers given the challenge of removing silos in backend systems. This prevents them from sharing data and analytics between departments, channels, and countries. Simultaneously, existing systems can’t cope with the new pricing, availability, and delivery-sequencing implications of bundled offerings.

To capitalize on the opportunity, B2B organizations must create easy-to-use buying experiences with real-time response, intuitive options for recurring orders, and online accounts that allow customers to view their order history and status and integrate all data points gathered. These must be offered across multiple devices and varying buying platforms.

Finding a system that enables a business to connect its many data points to deliver an omnichannel and personalized experience is key. According to Forrester, 60% of B2B companies report buyers spend more overall when they’re able to interact across multiple channels.

With Amazon also formally announcing its move into the market, there can be no doubt B2B is in for a period of change. In Europe and the United States, Amazon started in the B2C sector and is now actively addressing the requirements of the B2B sector. We can assume it will not be long until Amazon makes B2B a prime focus in the Australian market as well.

The proliferation of mobile within business also opens up countless opportunities to foster strong and lasting customer relationships. It means being able to build on the traditional relationships that governed the B2B sector and provide that same feeling of true customer experience across a number of touchpoints.

So how can manufacturers get on the front foot?

Finding a way to get a single view of the customer is a critical first step. This means implementing a software platform that allows data to flow seamlessly across the supply chain: commerce, customer relationship management, and manufacturing applications. Building a comprehensive view is important to cross-sell and upsell, and it’s a necessity for modern business.

It’s a challenging process, but addressing this technical challenge now allows manufacturers to ensure the system is working for them versus chasing their tail to get their affairs in order before it’s too late. This means communicating the benefits of e-commerce within organizations to take full advantage of the inevitable market conditions coming their way.

Learn more about how digital has changed the sales process in Primed: Prompting Customers to Buy.

This article originally appeared in Industry Update.

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Stuart O'Neill

About Stuart O'Neill

Stuart O’Neill is the Head of Business for the ANZ region for SAP Hybris. In this role, Stuart has helped champion e-Commerce adoption amongst leading Telecom and retail customers globally, leading the strategic Customer Engagement and Commerce line of business for SAP in ANZ. A technology sales professional with deep industry knowledge, Stuart has spent the past six years evangelizing an industry-wide shift to ecommerce and the cloud in Europe, Asia and Australia and has helped position hybris as a leader in the ecommerce market in Australia and NZ. Stuart has spent the last 15 years working in the networking and e-Commerce industry in both Europe and Asia and is recognized as one of the leading experts in ecommerce in Australia. His expertise has been garnered through his experience working as a sales professional with leading players in the industry including Nortel Networks, Cisco, Fujistu and Digital River. Stuart has travelled extensively, and has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Stuart holds an MBA specialized in Marketing and bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

Is This Winning Business Formula The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

John Ward

Sometimes lasting success starts off with one really, really good idea.

That’s the case with the Hansaloy Corporation of Davenport, Iowa. In fact, this family-owned business is based on what is perhaps the granddaddy of all great ideas: sliced bread. Hansaloy began making the specialized knife blades used in automatic bread-slicing machines back in 1933. Today, the company is still an industry leader. Its loyal customer base includes large wholesale bakers around the globe.

Yet Hansaloy remains a modest-sized company of only about 60 employees.

How does a small manufacturing company maintain this kind of business success? Hansaloy’s president, Kim Brenner, is happy to share a few of their secrets.

Stick to purpose-driven design

“First, we make sure we fully understand the needs of our customers,” says Brenner. “Each of our blade edges is designed with consideration for the type of crust, texture, and grain of the breads being sliced.”

These razor-sharp blades utilize proprietary steel alloys that produce very consistent slicing and excellent product cycle life. “Our blades are extremely sharp and extremely strong,” Brenner says. “Our technology continues to set us apart from the competition.”

Stay flexible

Hansaloy has also redesigned its manufacturing operations over time to better support the company’s evolving business model. As Brenner explains, the company’s global business is now essentially split equally between two major markets.

For domestic accounts, Hansaloy usually builds-to-order and ships the blades directly to the end user in custom package sizes. Customers in foreign countries, on the other hand, are typically served through local distributors who order stock in bulk, maintain inventory, and handle the final shipments.

Products for both markets are made at Hansaloy’s single manufacturing location. “We need to stay flexible,” Brenner explains. “And our current manufacturing systems and processes allow us to quickly accommodate changes in product specs, bill of material, packaging, or routing as new requirements come up.”

Partner for success

Though the customized business systems that Hansaloy had been using in the past once served them well, these aging solutions were beyond their support cycle and not adaptable to changes in manufacturing. Hansaloy reached out to CONTAX Inc. – a global consulting services provider with local offices right in Davenport – to help find a more standardized and sustainable solution.

Establishing this strategic partnership was yet another good idea. “A business transformation project is never just about technology,” says Corey Herchenroder, a Director at CONTAX. “It is also about the process, the business, and the collaboration.”

Together, the Hansaloy and CONTAX teams rolled out an ERP platform designed specifically for small to midsized industrial manufacturing companies to improve production planning, scheduling, and control.

Hansaloy once spent considerable time on tasks such as tracking small components and manually cross-referencing the production and material information to a customer’s shipment. “Now, instead of using an array of user-specific spreadsheets and filing systems, we can focus on the overall process and manage what’s most important,” Brenner says.

Find the right combination

It usually takes more than one good idea to achieve sustainable business success – especially when you’re a small or midsize manufacturing company.

Hansaloy seems to have found a winning formula: Combine superior product technology with agile manufacturing practices and strategic partnerships.

Why, that idea could be the greatest thing since . . . well, you know.

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Teaching Machines Right from Wrong

Dan Wellers

 

By 2018, smart machines will supervise over 3 million workers worldwide.
21% of consumers in an FTC study had confirmed errors on their credit reports.
2014: the first annual Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning conference.
A private university encouraged 20-25 students to drop out based on AI predictions of
poor grades.

Real-world examples of misused AI algorithms abound. These are just a few:

  • Women who weren’t pregnant — or weren’t ready to reveal it — received special offers of baby products and “congratulatory” messages.
  • People with minority ethnic names received a disproportionate number of ads implying they had criminal records.
  • Guests at a party learned a ride-hailing company kept track of customers who stayed out all night and went home in the wee hours.

Ethical-Edge Cases

Credit scoring algorithms designed to evaluate lending risk are now commonly used to gauge reliability and trustworthiness, determining whether someone should get a job or apartment.

Insurance underwriting algorithms determine the extent, price, and type of coverage someone can get, with little room for disagreement.

Healthcare algorithms could be used to penalize the currently healthy for their probability of future illness.

Algorithms often use zip codes as proxy for (illegal) racial profiling in major decisions, such as employment and law enforcement.

Self-driving cars will have to learn how to react in an accident situation when every possible outcome is bad.


What Should We Do About It?

All machine learning contains assumptions and biases of the humans who create it — unconscious or otherwise. To ensure fairness, business leaders must insist that AI be built on a strong ethical foundation.

We can:

  • Monitor algorithms for neutrality and positive outcomes.
  • Support academic research into making AI-driven decisions more fair, accountable, and transparent.
  • Create human-driven overrides, grievance procedures, and anti-bias laws.
  • Include ethics education in all employee training and development.

Above all, we must consider this a human issue, not a technological one. AI is only as unbiased a tool as we make it. It’s our responsibility to keep it on the ethical straight and narrow.


Download the executive brief Teaching Machines Right from Wrong.


Read the full article AI and Ethics: We Will Live What Machines Learn

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About Dan Wellers

Dan Wellers is the Global Lead of Digital Futures at SAP, which explores how organizations can anticipate the future impact of exponential technologies. Dan has extensive experience in technology marketing and business strategy, plus management, consulting, and sales.

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Why Millennials Quit: Understanding A New Workforce

Shelly Kramer

Millennials are like mobile devices: they’re everywhere. You can’t visit a coffee shop without encountering both in large numbers. But after all, who doesn’t like a little caffeine with their connectivity? The point is that you should be paying attention to millennials now more than ever because they have surpassed Boomers and Gen-Xers as the largest generation.

Unfortunately for the workforce, they’re also the generation most likely to quit. Let’s examine a new report that sheds some light on exactly why that is—and what you can do to keep millennial employees working for you longer.

New workforce, new values

Deloitte found that two out of three millennials are expected to leave their current jobs by 2020. The survey also found that a staggering one in four would probably move on in the next year alone.

If you’re a business owner, consider putting four of your millennial employees in a room. Take a look around—one of them will be gone next year. Besides their skills and contributions, you’ve also lost time and resources spent by onboarding and training those employees—a very costly process. According to a new report from XYZ University, turnover costs U.S. companies a whopping $30.5 billion annually.

Let’s take a step back and look at this new workforce with new priorities and values.

Everything about millennials is different, from how to market to them as consumers to how you treat them as employees. The catalyst for this shift is the difference in what they value most. Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips and are the most highly educated generation to date. Many have delayed marriage and/or parenthood in favor of pursuing their careers, which aren’t always about having a great paycheck (although that helps). Instead, it may be more that the core values of your business (like sustainability, for example) or its mission are the reasons that millennials stick around at the same job or look for opportunities elsewhere. Consider this: How invested are they in their work? Are they bored? What does their work/life balance look like? Do they have advancement opportunities?

Ping-pong tables and bringing your dog to work might be trendy, but they aren’t the solution to retaining a millennial workforce. So why exactly are they quitting? Let’s take a look at the data.

Millennials’ common reasons for quitting

In order to gain more insight into the problem of millennial turnover, XYZ University surveyed more than 500 respondents between the ages of 21 and 34 years old. There was a good mix of men and women, college grads versus high school grads, and entry-level employees versus managers. We’re all dying to know: Why did they quit? Here are the most popular reasons, some in their own words:

  • Millennials are risk-takers. XYZ University attributes this affection for risk taking with the fact that millennials essentially came of age during the recession. Surveyed millennials reported this experience made them wary of spending decades working at one company only to be potentially laid off.
  • They are focused on education. More than one-third of millennials hold college degrees. Those seeking advanced degrees can find themselves struggling to finish school while holding down a job, necessitating odd hours or more than one part-time gig. As a whole, this generation is entering the job market later, with higher degrees and higher debt.
  • They don’t want just any job—they want one that fits. In an age where both startups and seasoned companies are enjoying success, there is no shortage of job opportunities. As such, they’re often looking for one that suits their identity and their goals, not just the one that comes up first in an online search. Interestingly, job fit is often prioritized over job pay for millennials. Don’t forget, if they have to start their own company, they will—the average age for millennial entrepreneurs is 27.
  • They want skills that make them competitive. Many millennials enjoy the challenge that accompanies competition, so wearing many hats at a position is actually a good thing. One millennial journalist who used to work at Forbes reported that millennials want to learn by “being in the trenches, and doing it alongside the people who do it best.”
  • They want to do something that matters. Millennials have grown up with change, both good and bad, so they’re unafraid of making changes in their own lives to pursue careers that align with their desire to make a difference.
  • They prefer flexibility. Technology today means it’s possible to work from essentially anywhere that has an Internet connection, so many millennials expect at least some level of flexibility when it comes to their employer. Working remotely all of the time isn’t feasible for every situation, of course, but millennials expect companies to be flexible enough to allow them to occasionally dictate their own schedules. If they have no say in their workday, that’s a red flag.
  • They’ve got skills—and they want to use them. In the words of a 24-year-old designer, millennials “don’t need to print copies all day.” Many have paid (or are in the midst of paying) for their own education, and they’re ready and willing to put it to work. Most would prefer you leave the smaller tasks to the interns.
  • They got a better offer. Thirty-five percent of respondents to XYZ’s survey said they quit a previous job because they received a better opportunity. That makes sense, especially as recruiting is made simpler by technology. (Hello, LinkedIn.)
  • They seek mentors. Millennials are used to being supervised, as many were raised by what have been dubbed as “helicopter parents.” Receiving support from those in charge is the norm, not the anomaly, for this generation, and they expect that in the workplace, too.

Note that it’s not just XYZ University making this final point about the importance of mentoring. Consider Figures 1 and 2 from Deloitte, proving that millennials with worthwhile mentors report high satisfaction rates in other areas, such as personal development. As you can see, this can trickle down into employee satisfaction and ultimately result in higher retention numbers.

Millennials and Mentors
Figure 1. Source: Deloitte


Figure 2. Source: Deloitte

Failure to . . .

No, not communicate—I would say “engage.” On second thought, communication plays a role in that, too. (Who would have thought “Cool Hand Luke” would be applicable to this conversation?)

Data from a recent Gallup poll reiterates that millennials are “job-hoppers,” also pointing out that most of them—71 percent, to be exact—are either not engaged in or are actively disengaged from the workplace. That’s a striking number, but businesses aren’t without hope. That same Gallup poll found that millennials who reported they are engaged at work were 26 percent less likely than their disengaged counterparts to consider switching jobs, even with a raise of up to 20 percent. That’s huge. Furthermore, if the market improves in the next year, those engaged millennial employees are 64 percent less likely to job-hop than those who report feeling actively disengaged.

What’s next?

I’ve covered a lot in this discussion, but here’s what I hope you will take away: Millennials comprise a majority of the workforce, but they’re changing how you should look at hiring, recruiting, and retention as a whole. What matters to millennials matters to your other generations of employees, too. Mentoring, compensation, flexibility, and engagement have always been important, but thanks to the vocal millennial generation, we’re just now learning exactly how much.

What has been your experience with millennials and turnover? Are you a millennial who has recently left a job or are currently looking for a new position? If so, what are you missing from your current employer, and what are you looking for in a prospective one? Alternatively, if you’re reading this from a company perspective, how do you think your organization stacks up in the hearts and minds of your millennial employees? Do you have plans to do anything differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For more insight on millennials and the workforce, see Multigenerational Workforce? Collaboration Tech Is The Key To Success.

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