3 ways to retain your younger employees

By 2020 Millennials are predicted to make up 50% of the workforce, which means those born between 1979 and 1994 will make up half of your organisation’s employees. At the moment it seems there is a global problem with companies retaining this generation, younger employees are leaving their jobs after only 1 or 2 years. So why are millennials not settling in to organisations for the long haul? What can you be done to promote loyalty in the younger generations?

Millennials have different values

Millennials are different to the generations that have come before them, and companies need to make the effort to understand them and adjust their practices in order to attract and retain them. Millennials have gained a bad reputation for being irresponsible, self-centred, immature, and lazy. But when taken in the context of how our younger generations have grown up, along with an appreciation for the unique and valuable qualities they have to offer, the millennial’s differences become a lot more manageable and appealing.

Millennials have spent more time and money on education, been involved in more teamwork, been more supervised, and been exposed to more social media than any other generation. They have been primed to have big ambitions, become used to being able to access any information immediately, to being coached and supported, and to being constantly connected to other people. It is therefore not surprising they expect rapid progression in their careers, fulfilment and purpose in their jobs, and a lot of support and coaching along the way.

Personal development is the greatest attraction

According to a survey by PwC 65% of millennials said opportunity for personal development was what influenced them to select their current job. While the generation before them looked for jobs that provided lifelong security, millennials seek jobs that make them more employable. Opportunity for personal development was a greater magnet than the role, pay, or the reputation of the organisation. Therefore to attract and retain millennials you need to make clear training and development opportunities that are available and lay out a clear path for advancement. If millennials feel like they are no longer being offered growth potential, they are a generation that will have no problem moving elsewhere.

Millennials want to make a difference

It is clear that to millennials money comes second to having a sense of purpose and personal fulfilment. In a survey by Deloitte ‘sense of purpose’ was the reason 60% of millennials chose their current organisation. Millennials want to believe they are making a difference to their company and that they are working to achieve something they believe is valuable. For this reason it is important to consider whether millennial employee’s values, goals and interests align with what your company is able to provide. It is important to educate all employees of what the company’s overall mission is and what each individual’s role is in achieving it.

Millennials want supervision

Millennials see managers as mentors rather than experts and don’t respond well to being commanded and controlled. They need more coaching and attention than the generations that have come before them, and need to be encouraged and inspired to learn without fear of criticism. Younger employees may also not be instantly aware of and understand office etiquette, dress code and meeting protocol. It is important managers are open minded and receptive to their needs, and able to use a supportive and involved management style. In a survey by Deloitte it was found millennial employees with a mentor were twice as likely to stay at an organisation. If millennials don’t feel they are being valued or helped to reach their potential, they are more than happy to move elsewhere.

Millennials on the surface seem more difficult than their predecessors, but in reality all they have is slightly different priorities and needs. Millennials are a highly educated, collaborative, tech savvy, and ambitious bunch of people. The key to retaining the younger generation to grow your organisation in future is to prioritise their personal growth, opinions and needs too.