Millennials – born between the early ‘80s to mid ‘90s (roughly 18 – 32 year olds) – constitute one of the largest and most over analysed generations ever. By 2025, they will make up 75 percent of the global workforce. Keeping millennials happy and retaining them in the workplace should be an essential objective for every manager. Millennials are here to stay and they are crucial to the longevity and success of your brand.
Despite general opinion amongst employers, recent research has shown that millennials might not be the work-shy bunch they get berated for in the media, rather the most misunderstood generation ever. So how can employers stem the flow of millennial employees and better understand them? David Willey, millennial specialist from Growth Tank shares his top five tips that will make managing this challenging demographic easier, while also encouraging their engagement in your company.
5 Essential Tips For Keeping Millennial Staff
1. SHOW THAT YOU VALUE GREAT WORK & PROVIDE FEEDBACK
Employees tend to stay at jobs where they feel valued and part of a team. A perceived lack of appreciation for work undertaken is often cited as a key reason people leave jobs. Millennials, more than other generations, crave affirmation and positive reinforcement in order to feel like they are doing a good job. They need to know they are getting noticed and are valued.
Feedback may be as simple as showing a keen interest in their projects or mentioning that you appreciate their input or liked their thinking. This doesn’t need to be overwhelming but like any relationship between humans it’s a matter of mutual respect and treating each other like human beings. Regular small steps will always help improve workplace morale.
2. TRUST & FLEXIBLE WORKING
How often have you been asked by a team member if they can swap shifts in order to fit in a life event or accommodate a family commitment? And how often have you said yes? It’s important to understand that flexibility is key for millennials, as it allows them to edge closer to their desired work/life balance.
One question I often encourage managers to think about is: do you trust your staff? Millennials want to be seen as responsible and trustworthy, and the majority will repay your trust with hard work so why not give them a shot. If they don’t repay your generosity, then you may not have the right member of staff!
3. PROMOTE PROGRESSION WHERE POSSIBLE
The average millennial rates opportunities for growth and development as one of their top professional priorities, often more important than salary. This is not to say that you should promote people for the sake of it, or because they ask you for it (and they will ask), or even that a promotion is the answer.
I’m simply suggesting where possible that you provide opportunities for team members to experience new areas of the business and accrue greater responsibility and knowledge. Millennials respond incredibly positively to personal growth so look at ways you can map out these development opportunities together.
4. TRY DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT STYLES
One key mistake that businesses often make is to implement a ‘one size fits all’ style of management. Millennials are not one homogenous group. A management style that works for some, may not work for others. For example, one may prefer constant direction while another prefers to work autonomously.
As a rule of thumb, millennials want to know that you understand them and are willing to try different methods of management that suit all parties.
5. MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR COMMUNITY
Millennials prefer workplaces that help them feel they are contributing to the greater good. They are more interested in working for companies that make a difference in the world rather than for companies that are merely there for the big financial gains. Whether it’s working together on a company-wide charitable initiative or simply providing time off to run in charity marathons, your encouragement helps them feel good about where they work.
As stated, marketing professionals must adopt multiple strategies to reach millennials – there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Learn and experiment with what they respond to best to ensure you understand what matters to them to achieve the most cut through.
In order to be an effective manager you must adopt multiple strategies to attract, engage and retain your millennial workforce. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Learn and experiment with what works for your team.
For more details on how to engage and retain the best millennial staff get in touch with us via email@example.com.
By David Willey – Founder & Director, GrowthTank