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Dispelling the 30 Under 35 Myth

Dispelling the 30 Under 35 Myth

By Scott Costa, Publisher
, tED magazine/tedmag.com


Since Opening Day for baseball season is coming up in just a few weeks, I use batting averages to make my point on this one.

I get a little (definitely not a lot) of feedback from a few companies who say they don’t want to expose their employees to their competitors by nominating them for a tED magazine “30 Under 35” award.  I certainly understand the need to protect your best, brightest, young employees as you build a future for your company.

But, as I have said previously, this generation of the workforce values positive reinforcement for a job well-done.  The generation also wants the opportunity to grow with the company where they are currently working, and not continue to search for the next unknown situation.

And the numbers for the past 120 “30 Under 35” honorees from 2012-2015 shows that not very many have moved within this supply chain.  Of the first 120 honorees, 108 still work at the same company where they worked when they received their “30 Under 35” award.  That’s a .900 batting average.  For every 10 “30 Under 35” members, 9 of them are still at the same company.  If you were a baseball player hitting .900, you could cash some pretty big checks.

Of the 12 that are no longer with their company, 9 left the industry altogether.  They are no longer working in this supply chain for one reason or another. The fact is, you can’t keep all of your employees and sometimes outside forces, including family issues, means people will leave.  Maybe a spouse found a job in another city and that led to a resignation. Maybe an elderly family member needed to be cared for.  It’s hard to pinpoint, but I do know of at least two of those 9 people who left the industry that led only for personal reasons and not because they were looking for other work.

And then there are the other 3.  And yes, they did leave one company in this supply chain for another.  But, one of those three actually left the industry altogether, realized this industry was not worth leaving, and re-entered this supply chain.  He is now in the process of getting that company to become an NAED member, because he realizes the value that it creates.  So, 2 out of the 120 “30 Under 35” have switched companies.  Again, if we are talking about batting averages, that’s a .002.  You better be really great in the outfield to keep your job if you are only batting .002.  And even that won’t be enough.

Even with that number, during that same four year period of time, how many people under the age of 35 who were not recognized as a “30 Under 35” changed companies within the supply chain.  I don’t have the answer, but was it more than 2?  It can’t be much less.  So nominating someone for the “30 Under 35” award does not expose your young, bright employees any more than any other outside forces, including social media sites like LinkedIn.

I was reading a recent Gallup Poll called “What Makes A Great Workplace,” and right near the top of the list was, “In the last 7 days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.” The interesting part of that is most employees do not feel like they are getting any kind of recognition from their managers and supervisors.  47% of employees say they are willing to leave because they are not receiving any recognition from, or they feel ignored by, their bosses.

The same group said they also want praise or recognition from their peers. It doesn’t just come from the top down to them. Sometimes it goes sideways, like being honored with 29 others at the NAED LEAD Conference or being a part of a special group that only has 150 members out of the 180,000 or so people who are a part of this association.

Nominations for the 2016 “30 Under 35” are being accepted from right now until April 8.  It takes about 10 minutes to fill out a nomination form.  You can do it by going to www.tedmag.com/30under35.


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