As millennials continue to take over today’s workforce, executives are charged with an increasingly difficult task.
According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2015, the millennial generation (or “generation Y”) is now the largest in the U.S. labor force. There’s a growing abundance of millennial workers; and while luring them to your company may require extra effort, hiring them is not the issue.
Retaining them, however, is the new challenge.
A survey performed by Job Application Center indicated that approximately 41% of millennials expect to remain at their current jobs for just 2 years or less!
With this kind of turnover, the question becomes: How do you ensure that millennials are not only satisfied with their jobs, but also engaged?
At Errand Solutions we love our millennials and we want to help companies keep them engaged. While ping pong tables look cool, we know there’s so much to them than flashy offices. In fact, millennial workers are both united and outspoken on what they value most in the workplace. By prioritizing the following efforts, you’ll increase the retention rate of your millennial talent.
Emphasize Social Impact
“Millennials are more aware of society’s many challenges than previous generations and less willing to accept maximizing shareholder value as a sufficient goal for their work. They are looking for a broader social purpose and want to work somewhere that has such a purpose.”-Michael Porter
Your generation X workers may be perfectly content with showing up, clocking in, working hard, clocking out, and ultimately climbing the ladder of corporate success.
However, this definitely won’t be enough for most of your millennial workers.
They’re passionate about using their workplace as a force that impacts the community, and many view their jobs as vehicles for change.
So, how do you openly support causes without alienating other employees?
Choose causes and opportunities that the majority (if not all) of your employees can rally around. Don’t pick opportunities that will be divisive. Instead, target compassionate endeavors that will unite your workers. These may include volunteering efforts, partnerships with nonprofits, and charitable giving.
“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”-Henry Ford
Many employers view socialization as a distraction in the workplace, and some go as far as to suggest that socialization and work should be mutually exclusive.
But in reality, socialization can have a profound effect on a work environment – especially with the resources that are available to organizations today.
Socialization doesn’t have to mean spending thirty minutes chatting by the water cooler. In fact, this isn’t even the form of socialization that most millennials are craving. They’re looking to become part of a family whose bond actually enhances productivity at work.
Consider using social platforms to create company groups and pages for your workers to use. Networks help employees share knowledge and foster teamwork. In addition, start planning non-work related events, such as happy hours or holiday parties to elevate that socialization in a new way.
“Mentoring is a two-way street. You get out what you put in.”-Steve Washington
Millennials have a desire for personal development and advancement. According to a report issued by Gallup, a whopping 87% of millennials say that development is important in a job.
You can use your entire workforce to achieve this.
Assign a senior employee to each new (millennial) employee. Your senior employee will provide knowledge and insight to your millennial worker; and in exchange, your millennial worker will support your senior employee in other areas such as technology or social media. The reciprocal nature of this model will benefit your entire organization.
Introducing this type of support system early on is key. Don’t let your millennial employees walk through your doors and wait months for this process to begin.
Celebrate the Small Things
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”-Sam Walton Most
Workers value development and want their milestones to be celebrated. Millennials differ in that they want even those smaller milestones to be acknowledged. They’re conscious of their progress and marking these achievements helps to validate that progress.
Acknowledging their development can be as simple as sending them encouraging emails, throwing a small office party after a month of outstanding work, or implementing a rewards program for goals that are met.
Explain the Big Picture
“Millennials are hungry to let their talents be used for something.”-RJ Kelly
The last thing millennials want is to be left on the bottom rung of your organization’s infrastructure, ignorant of whatever’s going on up above.
Instead, they want to know why they’re doing what they’re doing, and how they’re making a difference.
Make every effort to get them involved! You can do this by asking for their input or showing them the fruit of their labor. They want to know that even the most arbitrary tasks have purpose and value.
It’s your responsibility to show them.
Find the Right Managers
“Millennials don’t want to be managed, they like to be led, coached and mentored. This generation is on fire and ready to go. Are you ready to change the world?”-Farshad Asl
You can put your best foot forward in trying to accommodate millennials in the workplace, but unless you have the right managers in place, your efforts will be in vain.
Make sure you’re hiring managers who are compatible with your millennial workforce. Managers who have short tempers and tend to micromanage are more likely to push your millennial workers away.
Keep in mind that this generation was raised to be inquisitive, think critically, and question authority. They’re not the yes-men that those in past generations may have been, so using the right management tactics is crucial to retention.
At a time when job mobility is more important to a generation than ever before, it’s unlikely that you’re going to find millennial workers who will remain loyal to your organization for lengthy tenures.
But by making every effort to engage millennials in the workplace, you give your company the best chance to retain them and reduce employee turnover.
Use these tactics and you’re sure to create a wonderful working environment that the unique and hard-working millennial generation will be proud to work at.