Once you’ve attracted the attention of the millennial generation, the work really begins. This up and coming generation is unlike previous generations. While they value loyalty, they do not consider that part of what is owed to an employer, simply by virtue of being employed. They will work hard and well, but ultimately if they find an opportunity they believe to be better, they are far more likely to leave than members of previous generations.
While no business can achieve a 100% retention rate, there are a few things that will help keep that number high.
Deliver on Promises
Millennials value honesty and integrity. If an employer promises them something relevant to the workplace, he or she had better deliver. Failure to do so will give the employee the impression they’ve been lied to. Perhaps they will let it go once or twice, but a consistent pattern of failure to follow-through on promises will likely end in their resignation
Maintain Work-Life Balance
Previous generations have been happy to work as many hours as their employer demanded, no questions asked. They were willing to put their job ahead of everything else in order to continue to earn a paycheck. Millennials feel no such obligation. In fact, they value a good work-life balance more than many other workplace perks. This is not to suggest that these employees will be unwilling to work overtime or come in on a Saturday. However, these occurrences should be the exception rather than the rule and a simple expression of gratitude will go a long way to making them feel appreciated. Additionally, providing teleworking options or flexible hours will earn an employer points with this young workforce.
Provide Regular Feedback
These new employees are the children of people for whom the term “helicopter parent” was coined. They grew up in an environment of near constant feedback and guidance. Whether that makes them unable to function without it is up for some debate. However, it never hurts to provide regular feedback on their work. It needn’t always be positive feedback. Millennials appreciate constructive criticism as well, provided it’s delivered in a respectful manner. Remember, they want to do good work. This need desire for feedback is their way of course correcting.
The Millennial generation is on track to create the most radical work environment changes since labor laws were enacted. They are well educated, talented and resourceful employees and they are not afraid to take their skills and change jobs if they are dissatisfied with their current situation. It is tempting for an employer to look at this generation and see a sense of entitlement. While this may be true for some, this generation’s workforce will likely provide some of the greatest innovations of the last few decades. Nurturing them will only help a business in the long run.