Mention the word “Millennial” near any HR manager and certain connotations will immediately spring to mind. While there are workers in the Millennial generation that exhibit tremendous loyalty, it seems that the mentality of changing jobs often is one that has become commonplace among the group. In fact, two thirds of Millennials expect to leave their current company in the next four years.
Despite this mindset, Millennials are valuable and productive workers to hire. Once they are on board, the solution to low loyalty in Millennials comes down to knowing what they want and adapting strategies to retain them.
Millennials crave being employed for an organization that provides them with meaningful work and has a positive impact on the world. It is essential for a company to make clear how their operations help society, and to share updates on this front regularly. Consider sending monthly emails on the positive results of employees’ work, or showcase impactful projects in a newsletter or entranceway bulletin board.
When the end product of a company doesn’t show such direct ties to helping the world, they sometimes offer employees one paid day off each month for the purpose of volunteering in the local community. This mentality takes a page from some of the leading companies in America. Google’s SVP of People Operations freely admits many of their high-profile perks aren’t what retains employees, it’s instilling meaning in their work that keeps them loyal. Whether in the end product or in the local community, finding meaning through the workplace will tie a worker more permanently to their employer.
Everyone wants to feel included at work, but Millennials especially desire to feel like they are an integral part of their organization. Outside of peripheral activities such as starting a young professionals group in the office, the key here is to begin retention during the hiring process.
Ensure a tight fit in a role right off the bat. Establishing this strong foundation where skills and personality strongly match the role and company culture will start things off on the right foot. Next, revisit your training process by taking another page from companies that have successfully been able to retain Millennials.
Manufacturer FLEXcon has implemented a training process that spans six weeks while connecting new hires with managers in several departments for mentorship. By cementing a new hire in not only their job but in the realization that their role is important to several departments, an organization will make that worker feel included, and loyal. Despite their remote location that typically doesn’t attract the younger generation of workers, FLEXcon has seen continued excellent retention results utilizing this method.
When asked for their reasoning in changing jobs, 59% of Millennials stated they did so because they saw a stronger career path elsewhere. The importance of potential for career growth cannot be understated when it comes to retaining this group of employees. It’s a good practice to take the time to speak with a new hire to get to know their career aspirations, and ensure any direct supervisors are aware of the results. With everyone on the same page, managers can include an employee on certain projects that can help progress them on their career trajectory.
As time goes on, check in regularly to reiterate their career progress. If any specifics or indication on the timing of their next promotion/role within the company can be given, then it’s wise to highlight this. Pay special attention to flexibility however, as 45% of Millennials value workplace flexibility over pay. One method to meet this preference could be to incorporate a day every two weeks where an employee can work from home in their current or next role. Another option successful organizations have used is to allow employees the flexibility of shifting their working hours at times.
Flexibility should extend to a chosen career trajectory as well. Should a Millennial change their mind about their planned next job within your organization, evaluate whether it’s possible to groom them for a different role. Showing any willingness to adapt will prove your loyalty to them, and they will return the favor.
As a generation that will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, operations must be tailored to Millennials starting now. Showing them how their work is meaningful, making them an integral part of the company, and giving them a clear career path to meet their goals will reward HR with strong loyalty and excellent retention numbers. Combine this information with knowing how to manage Millennials in the workplace and utilizing social media recruiting to bring them in, and the future of your workplace will be thriving for years to come.