As the largest generation in the labor force since 2016, Millennials get a lot of say in how companies treat their workers. Top Millennial talent can pick and choose where they want to spend their working hours. That means employers must roll out the red carpet to attract the best and the brightest.
Once companies bring in brilliant Millennials, though, they have to put in even more work to keep them. The best workers regularly hear from recruiters about jobs with better pay or more benefits. Anything short of excellence encourages Millennials to search for greener pastures.
Even the best companies deal with some worker churn. But companies shouldn’t hesitate to invest heavily in workers just because some will leave. Employers with good reputations attract hundreds of applications from highly qualified talent. Even if half that talent leaves, the rest will form a strong and capable core to guide the company forward.
Stop Millennials from jumping ship by identifying and eliminating these problems in your organization:
Failure to Embrace Change
Despite jokes about their youth and affinity for tech, the average Millennial is around 30 years old. Many Millennial workers didn’t even grow up with computers in their homes. In their few decades of life, Millennials have seen technology go from a neat diversion to an absolute essential. But many workplaces continue to treat technological capabilities as an afterthought.
Millennials see the role of tech in the workplace differently. Companies with great remote work culture appeal to Millennials who prioritize work-life balance. When Millennials have a choice between a company that treats them like inmates and a company that lets them work the way they prefer, most Millennials pick the latter. From remote work options to more relaxed dress codes, Millennials prefer companies that care less about how they work and more about the quality of their output.
Tech-driven flexibility isn’t limited to technology companies in Silicon Valley, either. Companies like MyWorkChoice empower businesses to create more flexible shifts for blue-collar industries like manufacturing and warehousing.
Limited Advancement Opportunities
Millennials believe in merit-based advancement. Fail to provide adequate growth opportunities, and Millennials will look for employers willing to invest in their professional growth.
When you have brilliant Millennial talent and no job openings, don’t shrug and wait for someone to quit. Create new positions for your best Millennials to help your company grow. People who are eager to prove themselves — and have the talent to back it up — can take your business to new heights. But that won’t happen if you lock them behind outdated org charts or force them to fit certain categories.
Not sure where your best Millennials could help your business? Offer to train top workers in areas where you need more manpower. Millennials eager to advance will jump at the change to diversify their skill sets.
About half of Millennials have left a job for the good of their mental health, and 75% of Gen Z workers have done the same. Companies that fail to take the negative effects of stress seriously risk losing Millennial talent over issues with easy solutions.
Ease the stress of your Millennial workers by providing high-quality healthcare, offering student loan assistance, and supporting them in hostile work situations. Millennials feel enormous financial strain after entering the job market during the last recession, and with a coronavirus-led economic downturn in the making, they need reassurance of their financial and physical well-being.
In addition to benefits, make sure Millennial workers know you have their backs when dealing with angry customers or partners. Even when your workers are in the wrong, teaching instead of belittling can help you retain workers who otherwise may have left.
Money isn’t everything, but you can’t expect to hold on to top Millennial talent for long if you don’t offer competitive compensation packages. Healthcare and student loan support help, but if you really want to attract and keep the best Millennials, you must also offer competitive salaries, retirement options, and other important perks.
Treat the Millennials already on your staff as if they were outside hires when promoting them or offering raises. Millennials have learned to jump from job to job because they realize that companies pay more to new hires than they pay to promote from within. By breaking that trend and giving more generous compensation packages to internal promotions, you still save money by not wasting months bringing outside hires up to speed on your products and processes.
Poor Purpose Fit
Millennials care about compensation and career growth, but they care about purpose, too. According to research from LinkedIn, 86% of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a company with values that align with their own; only 9% of Baby Boomers would do the same.
Stand for something more than profit if you want Millennials to stay with you for the long haul. Take the Uber and Meals on Wheels partnership, for example. Uber donated $1 million and free rides to Meals on Wheels. The Uber employees could also volunteer to deliver meals. The partnership with a wheel-based nonprofit made perfect sense for the ride-sharing app.
Partnerships with charities help, but real commitment to social change comes through the mission of the company. Establish core values that place the good of the world above the balance sheet, and pursue a mission that makes sense for the company and its team. An outdoor apparel company might protect the environment, while a software company could advocate for consumer privacy.
Tired of losing top Millennial talent to your competitors? Stop pushing your Millennial workforce away by eliminating unfriendly practices. When your organization treats Millennials with respect and trust, they’ll reward you with their loyalty, creativity, and passion.