Turnover is the highest it’s been in 10 years, and millennials often receive the blame. But does your organization really understand why turnover is so high for this generation? Is it really their fault?
Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. As of 2017, this segment hit 56 million strong, and by 2020 they’re expected to make up half of the total. Perhaps it’s time to start listening to them. So what are they telling us?
The truth is, they aren’t much different from other generations. While millennials can seem lazy, entitled, and demanding, statistics show otherwise. According to research by Robert Half, millennials are attracted to the same benefits as other generations: growth opportunities, job stability, and a competitive salary. But hiring millennials isn’t the hard part — retaining them is. A recent Gallup poll reveals that 60% of millennial workers say they’re open to changing jobs. Gallup estimates that their turnover costs the U.S. economy $305 billion every year.
The root of the problem is retainment. Gaps between what millennials want and what employers are offering can make or break success. Here’s exactly what companies should focus on:
1. Facilitate Professional Development
According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, companies that are most aligned in terms of purpose, culture, and professional development are likely to keep the best talent and achieve better financial performance. Specifically, millennials report that on-the-job training, self-paced learning, and employer-provided development courses are most important in helping them perform their best.
2. Uphold Corporate Social Responsibility
Words like honesty, integrity, and truth reign supreme for millennials. That means corporate social responsibility is a deal breaker for most of them. They believe businesses should solve important societal issues, such as climate change and terrorism, because our leaders aren’t effectively addressing them.
3. Provide Ongoing Feedback
Millennials want to do quality work and be reassured that they are progressing in the right direction. Most were raised with continuous feedback and communication from parents, teachers, and coaches, so they want the same from their employers. And they’ve been shown to thrive with feedback, responsibility, and recognition. For example, it’s more effective to have weekly, informal check-ins with millennials than an annual performance review.
4. Run a Mentoring Program
“If you don’t mentor your millennials, they will leave you,” says Julie Kantor, president and CEO of Twomentor. “Workplace mentoring can be a win for mentees, the person doing the mentoring, and the employer.” In a report by the Association for Talent Development, organizations with formal mentoring programs rated higher employee engagement, retention, and growth for high-potential employees.
5. Embrace Technology
Millennials are tech-dependent — they have more screen time than any other generation in history. Therefore, they no longer seek out technological perks at their jobs; they expect What millennial workers really want are cutting-edge tools that contribute to their personal growth and help them do their job most efficiently.
6. Create a Seamless Onboarding Experience
The key to retaining young talent is by nurturing them through a strategic onboarding program. Think beyond a simple orientation that ends the Friday of their first week. Great orientation programs not only provide a general overview of an organization’s policies, values, and procedures but also set a sense of purpose for the new hire’s role.
7. Keep Them Engaged
If millennials feel that they are not personally connected to their company, they likely won’t stick around. You have a better chance of retaining millennial talent if you create a real sense of connection between coworkers, their manager, and the company. Encourage socialization by planning non-work-related events, such as happy hours or holiday parties.
8. Focus on Meaningful Work
Millennials want to make meaningful contributions. For many, a job is not just a salary – it’s a lifestyle. More and more workers are channeling their passions on the job, focusing on emotional rewards rather than monetary incentives. First and foremost, be mission-driven. Give them a purpose beyond the bottom line.
9. Forget the 9-to-5 Schedule
More than 75% of millennials say that flexible work hours would enable them to be more productive. A traditional, outdated concept of when and where to work isn’t going to cut it. A flexible work environment can take on many forms, but the main idea is to not dictate when and where employees need to be in the office.
10. Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion have a tremendous impact on retaining millennials. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, maintaining a diverse workforce improves the likelihood of retaining millennials for more than five years from 27% to 69%. In fact, more than half of the millennial population in 10 states belong to a nonwhite minority group themselves. Consequently, they seek out employment that values their background.
It’s crucial for companies to adjust to this generation so that they can better attract and retain today’s top talent. Above all, provide your millennial employees with professional development, ongoing feedback, effective onboarding, inclusive socializing, the latest tech, and a flexible schedule. You’ll have a far better chance of beating the turnover trap!