With millennials making up the majority of the global workforce, a question burning in the top rungs of HR is- How to retain millennials in the workplace? They have already earned a reputation as being the biggest job-hopping generation.
Over time, companies have learned a few effective ways to attract and employ top millennial talent. However, engaging and retaining these millennials is the part where most companies face trouble. So, how does a company make sure that the time, effort and resources invested in finding, attracting, employing and onboarding millennials pay off?
Understanding the millennial way
The first and most important thing about managing millennials is to understand how they think and build your engagement strategy around that. Millennials crave a sense of purpose and like to see how their work is making a difference towards the organisational goals. They like to have flexible working hours, collaboration and a healthy work-life balance. Gone are the days of overtime work and appraisals that come around only once a year. Millennials crave continuous feedback and are ready to switch jobs when they do not see future growth prospects with a company.
We have discussed the millennial employee-lifecycle and how to create a talent management strategy around it in one of our previous blogs. Going through the blog will give you a better background about the millennial way of life and their expectations when it comes to working.
5 ways to retain millennials in the workplace
A lot of companies that are looking forward to employing millennials talent want to invest in teams that are young and show potential for growth. However, having a solid engagement strategy in place will go a long way if they want to retain millennials.
Here are 5 factors to focus on if you want to make sure your millennial employees don’t jump ship.
1. Build a growth-oriented company culture
Firstly, finding, training and onboarding a new employee is more expensive than keeping already hired employees happy. Many millennials keep hopping from job to job because of the lack of engagement, feedback and in some cases, challenging work.
Secondly, employee happiness decreases when they experience a lack of personal growth opportunities. Not being able to collaborate to have added responsibilities further adds to this discomfort, prompting them to look for their next job
When companies align their long-term goals with the millennial expectations, there is a significant decrease in their turnover rate. Also, when companies create opportunities that add challenges to current jobs, millennial workers stay focused and engaged. Attaching additional perks and/or compensations to more responsibilities gets them to think long term and increases talent retention.
2. Trust drives millennial performance
Every millennial employee wants to start off with their best performance when they join a new organisation. Employers can further reinforce it by providing them with a role that they can take pride in. These small adjustments help them quantify their performance during formal reviews.
Trust your employees to set partial goals for themselves and go over their accountability for the same with them during reviews. This can help the millennials find more drive towards work as they will be focussing on personal growth too. This instils a sense of prideful ownership.
3. Plan for professional development opportunities
87% of millennials strongly believe that employers are responsible for providing professional development opportunities in a job. When employers include on-the-job skill-building as part of their talent management strategy, millennials engage better and become part of the business and embrace its culture.
Providing opportunities for off-site workshops that add value to their personal growth as well as their position in the firm will further engagement. Millennials are always on the lookout for ways to develop new skill sets that will help them add value to their role within the company and the position they are working in.
4. Install anti-burnout protocols
Millennials, more than others, require timeouts due to overloading or fatigue. This happens with all employees at some point in time during a workday, stress gets to you. Stress is the killer of creativity, evaluate different strategies to keep stress at bay.
Implementing an open-door policy enables millennial employees to feel confident speaking to managers. Knowing they can go to the management and speak their mind(within reason) puts them at ease. Encourage employees to take mental health breaks, usually, a walk around the block and a breath of fresh air can do wonders to relieve stress.
5. Practice Corporate Social Responsibility (to retain millennials)
Millennials are closely connected to society and its well being is of equal importance to them as their own. They look past salaries and perks offered by companies, into their corporate social responsibility. They want their employers to be equally involved and care for society as they do for their employees. Some millennials can make peace with a smaller paycheck if the organisation duly engages in corporate social responsibility.
Setting up CSR activities is not expensive considering the ROI, engagement and loyalty can be inspired by such activities. Encourage employees to rally together around social causes aligned with your company goals. Throw an occasional in-house fundraiser to help raise money for charities. It helps millennial employees connect to the company better and may even increase retention. However, I believe companies should do their due CSR either ways.
When organisations approach recruiting as a proactive process, they will attract top millennial talent. Millennial employees look for unique reasons to make them stay at an organisation. When you understand and relate to what millennials are looking for, they will stay longer at your organisation. The time of millennials is here. If you don’t adapt your engagement strategies around their needs, you will not retain them for a longer time. Adapt and avoid the turnover trap.