Is your workforce crisis threatening your growth goals?

Kent J. Wessinger, PhD

My proprietary information reveals that only 22% of all companies have an informed and tested strategy to attract, engage, and retain their workforce. Yet, when we compartmentalize out millennials, the largest block of the workforce, that number drops to 16%Only 16% of all companies have an informed and tested strategy to attract, engage, and retain their millennial workforce. The 16% represents your market leverage, competitive advantage, and path of growth. The remainder of this article will focus on positioning your company in the exclusive 16% club. 

Eight years ago, I noticed a catastrophic workforce storm forming in the periphery, a storm that was on a trajectory to debilitate companies of all sizes. Firmly positioned in the eye of the storm was a rapidly maturing and massive generation called millennials. As a result, I set out on a mission to understand the relationship between millennials and organizational structures. My proprietary research and implementation experiences extend from Fortune 100 companies to family-owned businesses of 30 employees. As the storm churned through organizations, I had the unique position of having tested tools to help leaders grow through the storm, while tragically watching other leaders suffer through monumental failures. As a result, I’ve identified and tested 3 critical components that every company must have to solve their workforce crisis: 

  1. A new model of accountability
  2. An informed structure of employee engagement 
  3. An activated voice of revenue  

I also observed that companies who remain outside the 16% have common characteristics.

  • Hyper recruiting and horrific retention rates.
  • High revenue loss related to poor employee retention rates.
  • Timid leaders fearful of keeping younger employees accountable for productivity.
  • Disengaged younger employees who are disinterested in the mission of the company.
  • Unsuccessful in capturing revenue from millennial clients.
  • Not achieving growth goals.

While a new model of accountability, informed engagement structure, and an activated revenue voice are all critical to achieving your growth goals, the remainder of this article will briefly unpack the first and most important component of employee engagement. 

My proprietary information reveals that a whopping 81% of millennials define mentorship as “invaluable to their success,” yet only 21% of organizations have a mentorship structure, only 14% have a mentoring structure that millennials define as “effective.” While 68% of millennials state that a mentorship structure is a top tier factor in accepting a new job, 67% state they remain in their current job due to the mentorship structure.  

Although those stats are sufficient motivation to immediately develop a mentorship structure, let’s dig a bit deeper to fully understand what the largest portion of the workforce (with the worst retention rate ever recorded) is seeking from you to remain in your company. 74% of Baby Boomer leaders state that “millennials reject their core values and push back on their leadership wisdom.” However, those perceptions do not reflect the truth. My proprietary research reveals that 79%of millennials state, “they want the leadership wisdom from the generations that precede them,” while 72% of millennials state, “they respect and adhere to the core values of the generations that precede them.”  

Here is the streamlined summary; the largest portion of the workforce remains on the job an average of 11 months, they want the leadership wisdom and core values from the generations that precede them, yet only 14% of organizations have a mentoring structure that millennials define as effective. While older leaders overwhelmingly characterize millennials as entitled, lazy, and selfish, millennials are simply asking for leadership that positions them for success. Based on these statistics, implementing a traditional mentorship structure seems like a “no brainer.” However, the success of our mentorship structure possesses an additional components that are critical to its sustainable success.   

Through our implementation experiences, we discovered that a successful mentorship structure is focused on the “whole” life of the employee, not solely on the career path or company mission. Companies that facilitate environments to make the “whole” person successful are the companies growing through the storm, not just hoping to survive. Further, we also discovered that removing the burden from the mentors by supplying the mentorship lessons, small groups, action steps, and mentorship training, all elevated employee engagement and increased retention rates by 63% (and growing). 

Finally, as it directly pertains to employee engagement, my implementation experiences reveal that the first and most important step is an informed mentoring structure. As a caveat, many of our clients utilize their mentorship structure as a key component in recruiting new employees. Knowing that your workforce crisis must be solved to achieve your growth goals, it’s time to implement a tested mentorship structure that results in employee engagement. 

Building a relationship with Dr. Kent Wessinger and the Retention Partners team starts by going to