Understanding What To Expect First:
Retention is different with millennials. We know this generation tends to change jobs more often then the generations before it. Gallup published data stating 21% of millennials changed jobs in the last year. This number is triple the numbers of non-millennials. This same report shows this causes employer turnover costs of $30.5 billion each year. So, understand that you have a demographic with less desire to be with the same employer in a year. This is why engagement is crucial from the very start. You have to figure a way to emotionally attach employees to the company as well as the job they do. If not, then evidence shows they will constantly have radar out for other potential opportunities.
Engaging Millennials From Date Of Hire:
If you are a non-millennial employee, think about how you advanced in your career path? How much mentoring did you need? What type of flexibility did you expect? If you stayed with an employer long-term, then did your goals align with the mission of that agency? Was your leadership potential recognized early into employment? How did the employer foster engagement in advancement? These are all good questions and you must consider how a millennial may see these things through a different set of lenses than you right now.
I am reminded of an episode of Modern Family. It is when Jay and Claire decide to merge their well-known closet company with a tech company in order to remain viable for the future of the closet industry. Enter virtual meetings, group think with open offices, designated gaming time and the concept of every day being dress down day. Meanwhile, you can see that Jay is ready to go into orbit. The concepts foreign to non-millennials are as natural to millennials as the business suit and face-to-face meetings are for other generations. So, the reality is merging the two into something everyone can work with and thrive doing it. If you work through the change that makes the two work, then the millennials will find meaningful work and stay. And, they will tell their friends.
Top Three To Engage Millennials:
Gallup reports only 29% of millennials report engagement in their jobs. So, what are the three ways to keep the millennial employee with your agency? Let’s take a look at your corporate culture and see. You would be surprised to know that many of the reasons are the same as non-millennials. However, it comes down to how the employer expresses the commitment to the employee that makes the difference.
- Flexibility And Benefits Related To The Family: You may be saying you already provide this. However, it requires you to look at what those terms mean to a millennial versus a non-millennial. Do you provide a benefit for child care? Or, maybe it’s a child care stipend to those with multiple children? Millennials want employers to support them in their role as parents. This is a different way of viewing benefits. Does the flexibility you provide give the employee the chance to be the family unit they desire? Remember that 40 years ago, fathers weren’t taking paternity leave and moms were still predominantly at home raising children. The millennials recognize the need to be present in the work place and be part of two income houselholds, but don’t want to miss things in their own lives along the way.
- Mentoring/ Training: Is your training program for staff the same regardless of the generation? This has to change. The way each generation learns and what the definition of mentoring for each is different. Mentoring doesn’t necessarily mean that it is only the millennials that learn from older generations. It means the millennial wants to be useful in ways they excel. Your millennials can be a huge help with technology and organizational change. These individuals are great for consideration in leadership roles working towards bigger goals. This energizes the millennial to assist with advancement of your agency.
- Meaningful Work: This concept piggybacks a little on the last bullet point. Once you have recognized the value of the employee in mentoring and being mentored, then you work towards the goals of advancement within the agency and with organizational goals. When employees see the vision and goals are aligned for both, then buy-in can be universal regardless the generation. This allows the millennial employee to work towards something more than just the weekend.
This article entitled, "How Well Do You Engage Your Millennials? Does Keeping Them Feel Like Combat And You Are Always On The Losing End? Now, Let’s Find The Solution." first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.
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