Millennials—those who were born around the 1980s to early 2000s—have always been quite a mystery among employers. This generation is ambitious yet fickle. They’re passionate about what they do, yet they have no qualms transferring to a different job in a snap should something about their current situation doesn’t satisfy them.
They feel constrained by strict rules and always yearn to express themselves and widen their horizon. Thus, employers are faced with the task of trying to puzzle out what makes their millennial employees tick, and what they can do to make them stay in the company.
Working with millennial employees can be challenging yet fulfilling. Millennials are naturals in handling technology and social media, which is an asset for your business especially if you’re thinking of expanding online. They’re also bursting with new ideas, always looking for something new to try and explore—quite invaluable traits for innovation.
On the other hand, their impulsive nature makes keeping them in your company challenging. Based on a study by PWC, millennials see themselves having two to five employers during their lifetime. It’s not that millennials have no regard for company loyalty. But, if their employer threatens their personal development or work-life balance, then they are given no option but to leave.
Despite these challenges, there’s no doubt that millennial employees and their unique ideas are among the best assets a company can have. Here are 5 tips to retain millennial employees and keep them satisfied working in your company.
1.Give them freedom.
According to a study, 1 out of 3 millennials deems social media freedom, work mobility, and device flexibility as more important than getting a high salary when looking for potential employers. This speaks to a generation that is more social than recluse; individuals who are willing to interact with colleagues as they work, rather than be boxed into cubicles.
Therefore, if you want to keep your millennial employees, make sure that they are given freedom to voice out their thoughts, ideas, and interact with their co-workers. Offering convenient working set-ups such as work-from-home or flexible schedules will also serve to motivate millennials—seeing how those give them more power in organizing their workflow.
2.Provide competitive salary and room for growth.
Just because millennials are younger than your senior employees mean that they don’t deserve fair compensation. The same PWC study said that 44% of millennials are motivated to work with and stay in a company that provides them competitive wages. This move also reinforces the idea that your firm is appreciative of the employees’ hard work.
Then again, it’s not enough to just have a nice paycheck. Millennial employees are also looking for opportunities to grow. After all, who would want to stay in a company where your career trajectory will likely just plateau?
Create new learning opportunities for employees such as seminars and training. Don’t hesitate to offer promotions for millennial employees who exhibit exceptional work. If they see that your company is concerned with the personal development of its employees, then millennial employees are more likely to stay.
3.Encourage collaboration, not hierarchy.
Hierarchies are no strangers in the corporate setting. While setting up an organizational structure is imperative for the streamlined working process, don’t make your employees feel like they don’t matter just because they aren’t at the top of your hierarchy chart.
Encourage a culture of collaboration, where employees aren’t intimidated to voice out their ideas, even to the boss himself. Value the insight of your millennial employees and provide them feedback that’ll help them grow professionally.
When they feel like they are part of a team, one that works together to reach a particular goal, they become more motivated to work and share their ideas.
Millennials are used to having the information they need right at their fingertips. When they don’t understand something, they’re quick to turn to Google to find out what the answers to their questions are. Therefore, it only makes sense that millennials dislike the idea of working with a company that isn’t upfront with its plans and intentions.
Transparency is the key to winning over your millennial employees’ trust. When you make decisions that will affect employees directly, provide the reason for doing so. Share plans for the company so that employees know the direction towards which the business is moving.
Millennials grow uneasy when they feel that the management is hiding things from them. By promoting transparency in the workplace, you can foster trust and community spirit among all your employees—not just millennials.
5.Offer real-time feedback and mentoring.
Millennial employees don’t want to wait for months just to get an assessment of their performance. They’d rather get it in real-time, so they can improve as they work.
Thus, your millennial employees will appreciate it more if you take the time to assess their work and provide criticism that can help them grow. After all, we’re mostly talking about young professionals here—ones that are eager to develop their skills early on in their careers. They’re more likely to stick with a company that’s willing to invest time and resources in their professional development.
Millennials also value the idea of having a mentor in the workplace, someone who can help them improve and build valuable skills. Likewise, companies are now exploring the idea of reverse mentoring.
Here, a young professional guides a senior employee in utilizing technology. Not only does this tie up with the notion of fostering collaboration, but it can also save the company time and resources in teaching senior employees to be more tech-savvy.
Be a Millennial-Friendly Company
Retaining your millennial employees is no rocket science. All you need is a willingness to look at things from their perspective. They’re young professionals who are eager to build a solid foundation for their careers, yet not at the expense of losing their freedom and work-life balance. They value social interaction and collaboration. They’re willing to hear out feedback and criticism to improve themselves.
Just keep these 5 strategies in mind, and your millennial employees will more likely stick around and help your business become more successful.
About Patrick Dimayuga:
Pat Dimayuga is a well-rounded recruitment professional. He has experience in social media (recruitment marketing), business development, executive search, and now handles projects focusing on client experience. Pat used to work at Smart Communications Inc., handling all of their executive positions, and was also part of the team who supported hiring for Smart’s digital subsidiaries. (Paymaya and Voyager Innovations). Prior to this, Pat was an integral part of both business development and recruitment services for Drake International.