Millennials were born between 1980 and 1999; commonly referred to as Generation Y. They're tech-savvy, ambitious, and keen to make a difference.
And their strong work ethic defines them.
But attracting and retaining millennial employees has become an essential concern. After all, they’ll make up the majority of the workforce by 2025.
So, if you're currently struggling to engage and retain millennial workers now, you're likely to run into problems very soon.
In this article, we’re going to explore how to attract and retain Millennial employees.
You could define Millennials as the first generation of “digital natives” - people who have grown up around multiple media platforms that they’ve learned to control and shape for their own needs.
This makes the majority of Millennials masters of multitasking and early up-takers of new technologies.
One of the first things any Millennial perspective is going to do, therefore, is Google your company before they decide to apply for your job.
And if your digital presence is lacking, you could struggle to attract the best talent.
Remember, digital presence is more than just your website - it’s social engagement through relevant platforms.
Increasing your social engagement helps increase brand loyalty among consumers, but will also attract potential employees.
Like all generations before them, Millennials want recognition of their contribution to the workplace. But they want more:
This is the generation whose education focused on positive reinforcement, as opposed to the more reductive feedback of previous generations.
Millennials, therefore, thrive in an environment of recognition and positive reinforcement.
Over 90% of Millennial employees would prefer regular, formal feedback regarding their performance; 60% of those stating that, ideally, feedback should be given every one to three months.
And - actually - it’s not that much to ask.
Positive feedback has always been more effective in boosting team morale and getting the most out of a workforce than an environment of reduction and hierarchy.
According to research, a clear path of career progression keeps over two-thirds of millennials engaged and motivated.
54% stated that they need opportunities to exercise influence within the business - and this stat is particularly indicative of millennial engagement.
But it's not just about influence - it's about versatility.
The typical Millennial’s experience of the work market is notoriously transient. They move around from company to company to get ahead. That could be down to a culture of zero-hours contracts, or it could be a sense that the companies they’re working for aren’t demonstrating a commitment to progression.
Recruitment is a costly pursuit, of course, so holding onto good workers is essential.
The companies who offer greater variety by allowing individuals to rotate around the business find that they hold onto their Millennial workforce much more effectively.
Surprisingly, work/life balance is considered less critical to Millennials than decent salary and job progression.
However, flexibility is essential. The ability to work from home when needed is considered a real priority.
For some industries, home working just isn’t an option.
However, collaborative technologies help to bridge the traditional work/life balance by allowing more workers to work from home. Collaboration both on- and off-site using tech such as interactive displays, collaborative software (such as Slack, Asana, Office 365, etc.) make this possible.
You could choose a Windows Collaboration Display that facilitates collaborative, virtual meeting rooms.
Millennial employees value inclusivity and social connection highly.
Over 30% feel that meeting their colleagues in a social setting is crucial, especially during workplace induction.
Compare that to 15% of Generation X and less than 1% for Baby Boomers.
Over 50% of Millennials state that poor company culture was a source of disappointment when starting a new job.
For smaller businesses, this can prove challenging, as your recruitment drive is less likely to employ large numbers of new starters at the same time.
However, regardless of the size of your business, a positive workplace culture will help you keep Millennial employees. You could incorporate sports and social groups to attract and retain employees, as well as introduce more relaxed, creative environments.
Educated Millennials have grown up in an environment of greater inclusion than their predecessors. They often have high expectations of each other’s social and moral conduct and are attracted to companies that demonstrate respect, equality, and social inclusion.
Creating an environment of corporate social responsibility by demonstrating a reputation for honesty, integrity, and community commitment goes much further with Millennials than perks or higher salary.
Of course, they’re in the workforce for financial compensation like the rest of us, but this generation values ethical and environmental values highly. Millennials are often attracted to companies who give back through charity and community service projects, who also commit to corporate ecological protection.
Almost 40% of Millennial employees want their employers to incorporate social media into their work. They're attracted to companies that make use of the technologies that they're already using themselves.
Combining work and social media can be a risky strategy - after all, a single Tweet could bring down a company.
But you could introduce social-media-style internal platforms, such as Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, or Chatter to drive internal communications.
We've already established that Millennials demand regular feedback. Goal-setting can be a practical approach that helps everyone feel as though they're remaining purposefully engaged in the broader picture.
Performance Management (PM) systems help engage employees by providing visibility regarding progress toward benchmarks. Many PM systems integrate natively with Avocor’s interactive displays.
Public recognition is crucial for Millennials. You could incorporate benchmarks into meetings through performance management systems, displayed on interactive displays during meetings.
Mentor programmes are particularly valued by Millennials, even though they’re more likely to have been educated to undergraduate level than their predecessors.
PM systems and social-based platforms help keep communication flowing between employees and mentors, promoting a culture of openness without dragging down productivity.
Millennials want to be recognised as significant within a company. Some companies, such as Zappos have eliminated traditional bosses altogether.
That might be a little drastic.
But offering a clear path for career trajectory will go a long way toward retaining the most talented and ambitious Millennial employees. Maintaining historic hierarchical structures gives the impression of “us and them”, and that won’t wash with this generation.
Training and a clear step-by-step progression path will help Millennials to understand the shape of their future career with you.