Millennials. You may think of them as smart-phone addicted moochers who spend all their money on avocados, leaving none for real estate. You hear of slackers whose parents have to take them to court to get them to move out of the house. This generation in their twenties and the first half of their thirties may operate slightly differently at work than the ones before, but there’s no need to be wary of them.
Saying all millennials are keen on jumping from job to job may be a massive generalisation. But they are certainly more open to it, and if a workplace isn’t meeting their needs or desires it could very well be sayonara.
The new generation workforce certainly doesn’t expect to work at one company for life, a sentiment which is also probably true of Generation X. That kind of long-term commitment no longer defines professional success for them. It’s said one in two millennials don’t see a future with their current employer beyond the next 12 months. They’re mobile and constantly connected, and if unfulfilled other professional options are at their fingertips and only a swipe away.
Interestingly, surveys on Generation Z (those born after 1995) have found the young’uns value financial stability over job satisfaction, and a majority have plans to stay in one position for a decade or more.
But if job hopping is the way this generation operates, how do you get them to stay?
Engage Them, And Keep Them Engaged
Many millennials want to reach a position of management or at least be on the trajectory towards one. They boast a lot of drive, and harnessing that strength can be crucial to retaining staff. Profit shares, minority shareholdings – the concept of owning something they’re committed to professionally will mean they’re more likely to stay put.
Consider these perks and the benefits which the resulting commitment would bring to your business. Millennials are more willing to act on the promise of something better, so have the potential (and readiness) to provide them with those opportunities. It’s not always about more money.
While a financial tie is a big way to keep millennial staff with your organisation, a buy-in to company culture is also key. What you stand for, how you interact with clients and staff, and how staff hang out after hours are all crucial components of your culture. A thriving culture makes for happy staff. Define your vision and how you can get there together.
Invest In Success
Mentoring and encouragement of millennial staff are each vitally important. The investment in time spent on them will reap rewards further down the track. Open channels of communication between management and staff naturally leads to more honesty. It also encourages a willingness to open up and share about issues which may crop up.
Roll your eyes if you will, but millennials need to feel like they’re an important part of your company. Sure, you don’t need to applaud every time they pass gas, but recognising and acknowledging efforts when they go above and beyond is important. Recognition breeds job satisfaction, and involved and committed staff are staff who get results, no matter their age.
Keep Moving Forward
Importantly, things within your organisation need to be kept dynamic. If your processes aren’t constantly evolving, they at least need to be fluid enough that the capacity for progression is there. Don’t let things get stagnant just because it’s the way they have always been. Think of your business like a shark. If they don’t keep swimming, they sink to the bottom.
You just have to understand what makes them tick and attempt to implement those things within your organisation. Get it right and the many strengths they bring to the table professionally – dedication, loyalty, creativity – are yours.