3 Ways to Fulfill and Retain Millennial Employees

Often tagged “the job hopping generation,” it’s a common myth that millennials are disloyal and don’t care about job security. With this viewpoint, why put in the time to train and develop your millennial workforce when they’re going to split in a year or two? From this perspective, it’s pointless. However, by understanding the concerns of millennials and looking at reality through their lens, a few important factors stand out that shatter this myth.

49% of millennials say they would like to stay with an organization for more than 10 years, according to research performed by the Center for Creative Leadership.[1] Many millennials actually crave job security. They grew up during the 2008 recession, witnessing devastating layoffs. They have the highest levels of student debt in history. They’re worried about raising kids or putting down a mortgage due to the possibility of being laid off.

By understanding the concerns of millennials, this job hopping “problem” can be turned into an “opportunity” to engage and fulfill employees for the long run. Here are three ways to help you fulfill and retain millennial employees:

  1. Constantly Communicate and Provide Feedback

Millennials grew up in the digital age of instant gratification and constant connection. Therefore, they’re used to receiving immediate feedback and having an outlet to tweet their opinion at the snap of their fingers. By maintaining relationships with millennials through regularly asking questions and making an effort to understand things from their perspective, feedback becomes conversational, as opposed to being confrontational. This creates an environment where millennials feel that their voice matters and that their opinion is valued.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that millennials want feedback; the problem is they won’t ask for it. Show appreciation regularly. When they make mistakes, let them know in a constructive, teachable manner. By making the effort to make millennials feel understood, valued and an integral part of your company, they will feel more comfortable speaking up. This relationship fosters loyalty and will help fulfill and retain your millennial employees.

2.) Display Advancement Opportunities

Millennials are young. They’re hungry. They’re ambitious. As a manger, you can help them see opportunities to advance and be promoted within the company. Likewise, you can offer lateral growth opportunities, allowing them to become skilled in a variety of fields. This will help your company develop a multi talented, capable millennial workforce that understands how different departments operate. This will breed understanding and insight into how to serve the best interests of your company.

From a retention standpoint, opportunity for growth causes a shift in the mindsets of millennial employees. By openly presenting advancement opportunities, millennials will naturally view their job and career over the long term. A secure, rewarding job with the possibility of advancing and learning new skills is a sure way to create long-term retention with millennial employees. Recognizing the importance of job security and growth opportunity will help attract a stable, loyal workforce.

3.) Allow for Balance and Flexibility

Lack of flexibility was cited among the top reasons millennials quit their jobs, according to surveys performed by Ernst and Young’s Global Generation Research.[2] Millennials see that technology allows them to be productive and get work done regardless of location. However, many older bosses (who didn’t grow up with digital technology) don’t understand this. Multiple surveys show that what millennials want most is where, when and how they work.[3]

By creating a flexible work environment, you can fulfill one of the highest demands of millennials. As long as a flexible, work-life balance doesn’t affect results, it should be embraced. Millennials are more likely to commit to a company long term if it allows for a flexible work-life balance.

Don’t be put off by the myth that millennials are a job-hopping, disloyal bunch. You can view your millennial workforce as a “problem to complain about” or an “opportunity to be embraced.” Through communication and feedback, openly presenting advancement opportunities, and creating a flexible and balanced work schedule, you can fulfill the wants and needs of your millennial workforce, while also creating an atmosphere where they will want to work over a long period of time.

Interested in learning more about bridging the gap between millennials and managers? Make sure to get your hands on Dan Negroni’s new book,  Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace.

Chasing Relevance by Dan Negroni

 

[1] Deal, Jennifer. “Why the Conventional Wisdom About Job-Hopping Millennials Is Wrong.” WSJ. Dow Jones & Company, Inc., n.d. Web. 22 June 2016.

[2] Schulte, Brigid. “Millennials Want a Work-life Balance. Their Bosses Just Don’t Get Why.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.

[3] Schulte, Brigid. “Millennials Want a Work-life Balance. Their Bosses Just Don’t Get Why.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.