Millennials have received a lot of flack over the years. Yet the not-so-affectionately named 'generation of job-hoppers' is not only the fastest-growing generation in the workforce. Contrary to stereotypes, they're loyal too. In fact, according to a study by Prudential, 60% of millennials have worked for their employers for at least three years. Despite their questionable rep, it pays to look out for your millennial staff’s professional and mental well-being.
That said, there's a catch. Millennials have grown up in an era where knowing their worth, chasing dreams, and being themselves is encouraged. Consequently, they strive to carve out their own definition of success and fulfillment, instead of bending society's prescribed notions.
To gain and keep millennials in your workforce, you'll have to do more than provide a job. Things like career development, community building, and work-life balance will need to be high on your priorities list when it comes to managing millennials. Here are a few traits of millennials you'll want to be aware of when it comes to attracting and retaining millennial talent:
Offer a place to grow, coupled with work-life balance
One of the most surprising millennial characteristics is their work ethic. Millennials also value ambition, self-development, and self-actualisation. You only have to look as far as the founders of Facebook, Snapchat, Canva, and WordPress to see this in action. However, millennials also want enough time to pursue interests outside of their careers. A study conducted by Comparably - a rewards and employer monitoring company - found that 60% and 32% of millennials surveyed prioritised career advancement and work-life balance as most important to them, respectively.
Shuffling papers and editing Excel sheets for hours on end may have been considered a right of passage by their predecessors, but may come across as insignificant busy work to millennials. Seek to accommodate your millennial workforce's professional desires by trusting them with important tasks and projects and giving them independence through flexible and remote working options. Set up mentoring and networking opportunities with other employees and industry professionals who are further along in their careers to show your millennial talent the ropes and offer some words of wisdom.
Level up your tech
Millennials are tech-savvy, which is why it's unsurprising that a Qualtrics survey found that 73% of millennials believe technology has made it easier to achieve work-life balance. As a result, digital transformation can help you shine as an employer. Empowering your staff with the digital tools they need to thrive in their roles can give them greater confidence and increase their efficiency. It'll also leave them with more time to perfect their craft. This approach can lead to higher employee happiness rates and better work output quality. It's a win-win for all!
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
- Provide cloud-based tools and storage to ensure millennial workers can access the files and applications they need from anywhere.
- Offer interactive online training portals so they can upskill on the go.
- Use social media for company announcements.
You should also find out from your staff what they would like to see digitised in your business, and then implement the most popular requests.
Create a brag-worthy company culture
Work isn't all about well… work. Be fun! Many people spend more time at work and with their colleagues than they do with their own families. So, make it count. By fostering an enjoyable work environment, your millennial staff will be more motivated to come in, get involved in company initiatives, and give their all in their roles.
If you can't get together just yet due to social distancing rules – no problem! The fun doesn't have to stop. Send a box of treats to your employees' home, so they have something nice to snack on your next team briefing. You can also provide online gaming portals, or set up informal online chat rooms and meetups. Then, once the world reopens, host beer and pizza nights, take your teams to theme parks, offer on-site spa days, or come up with other fun incentives to reward their loyalty to your company.
It's also worth noting is that most millennials are passionate about using their careers to make an impact and endeavour to attain a comfortable lifestyle. A 2019 Deloitte survey. revealed that millennials face a great deal of stress and unhappiness as they grapple with achieving these goals. Further, the 2020 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 75% of millennials surveyed felt the COVID-19 crisis had made them more considerate towards others.
Clearly, advocating for causes near and dear to them - like anti-racism, gender equality, and environmental preservation - while also taking steps to provide greater job security will help position your company as a progressive employer. This strategy can inspire loyalty amongst your existing millennial workforce while also encouraging more millennials to come onboard.
You can also spur millennials to join your company by enabling them to give back to their community while at work. For example, sponsor their charity fundraisers, back volunteering schemes, and offer paid time off to pursue charitable causes. Doing so can also combat disillusionment, unhappiness, and stress by helping millennials feel like they're making a difference in their time.
Reward a job well done
Millennials value rewards. Even as consumers, 22% of millennials surveyed by Lifecycle Marketing were more likely than other generations to stay loyal to a brand because of its loyalty programmes. As employees, millennials pay close attention to whether their efforts are acknowledged. For example, failing to congratulate an employee when they deliver a terrific presentation may be no big deal to a baby boomer but could offend a millennial. If this happens once too often, it could lead to feelings of resentment and apathy - not because millennials are an overly-sensitive bunch, but because they recognise the need for positive reinforcement and constructive feedback to optimise their work performance.
Do your part in encouraging your staff. Acknowledge good work verbally and through awards, bonuses, and incentives like paid-trips to their favourite hangout spots and stores.
Attract and retain millennial talent
Millennials are an ambitious, resilient generation that knows what they want and what they stand for. They're willing to put in the hard work and dedication to achieve their goals. By proving yourself to be their ally, you'll be able to attract and retain millennial talent with greater ease.
Even better, this approach is likely to pay dividends for years to come. Millennials show no signs of slowing down in the working world, so time is of the essence. Get your millennial house in order to start reaping the benefits now.
Click here to learn how workforce management tools can help you impress millennial talent.