Most Millennials have been in the workforce for 10 years or more. The oldest Millennial is nearly 35, while the youngest Millennial may have just graduated from college. While both groups of Millennials have similar ideals for what makes a great workplace, organizations still find themselves at a loss for attracting and retaining this generation for long.
Older Millennials had to adapt when the business world switched to digital. We were the group that crossed the divide between the traditional way and the new way of doing things. Our classes at school became more focused on technology, and we had to learn more about computers in order to catch up. Younger Millennials have always known the world of smartphones and tablet computers. And both groups have come to understand the importance of adaptation in life.
The Millennial’s Work Style
Millennials have also become known as the job hopper generation. Fewer people are staying at the same company for decades. Why? Perhaps because companies have also changed in the way they value employees. Millennials will leave a company for higher pay or better benefits. So, if their current company does not value their work, they will have no qualms about going to a company that does see their potential.
Desire To Grow
According to Gallup, Millennials have a desire to grow in their professions. Companies that don’t develop their employees or provide advancement opportunities will see more of their Millennial workforces leave. Performance conversations, career development and additional responsibility that allows Millennial workers to expand their skills can help organizations to retain Millennials.
Making A Difference
What do Millennials want from their employers? We are not asking for gold stars, but we do want to know that our efforts make a difference. This could be in the form of a higher salary, better benefits and career development at work. Student loan paydown plans have been successful at the companies that implement them, and flexible attendance policies can meet the needs of Millennial employees who need a work-life balance.
Appealing To Millennials
Paid internships and job-training programs can bring in younger Millennials who are just entering the workforce. This allows them to learn more about the industry and how your organization works while also developing a rapport with the younger workers. They will have less financial stress and can focus on learning the ropes.
Older Millennials need to know that they can still grow within the company. If a promotion is not possible, then offering workers new projects to take on can help engagement within the company. Cross-training between departments can be a great incentive for employees who wish to grow in their careers.
Flexible work policies, such as starting and ending times or unlimited paid personal days, appeal to Millennials as well. Some jobs require that employees come into the office every day, but many jobs can be done from a home office at least a few times a week. And it can be a relief to young parents to know that they can start work later in the day to take a child to the doctor.
The Bottom Line
Attracting and retaining Millennials does not need to be complicated. Human resources departments should work with their current employees and the executive team to discover what portfolio of benefits and which policies would work best for the organization and for their employees.