5 Tips for Avoiding High Millennial Turnover
It’s no news that Millennials are entering the workforce at a rapid speed. They have officially outnumbered the Baby Boomers in work force and will continue to grow in numbers. So, the question for many companies is, “Since patience is not a virtue of Millennials and we all know this, how do you keep them engaged and develop loyalty to stay with your company?” I have been approached with this question time and again as if this is a big mystery. Here is what many companies fail to recognize. It’s not that Millennials are a different breed that they are looking for something entirely different and new from previous generations when it comes to workforce.
Millennials are just more vocal and up front about their desires and wants and how they wish to be treated. Many Millennials, especially the high performing Millennials know their value and their ability. That is why, when deciding to join a company it is important to provide them with respect and a fair treatment as you would with any other new staff joining your team.
Thinking that you can show any less respect or will be able to pull a fast one over your newly hired millennial employee is a huge mistake, especially if they are a mid to high level staff coming in with years of experience.
Millennials have an innate need to feel the return in their investment of time in working for the company and it starts with feeling valued at an organization. Here are the top 5 tips on keeping your millennial workforce engaged and loyal within your organization and avoiding a high turnover. Keep in mind, these are just good tips on avoiding high turnover period; not necessarily just with a millennial work force. Any savvy employer who value building a happy, sustainable and competent work force would do well to leverage these tips.
1. Show your Millennial employee his or her impact in your business
Yes, I get it. Often, many company executives share with me how frustrated they are with the new Millennials that are joining their company who wants to “make an impact.” We all saw that famous clip of Simon Sinek quoting Millennials as being the group that is driven by the unrealistic desire to make an impact when they just got hired and should really be focused on learning the ins and outs within the organization. I get it. I see where Simon is coming from. Here is the thing. Let’s try to redefine the word, “Impact” from the lens of a millennial.
Impact, does not necessarily have to be something grand and huge. Impact could be any amount value that the newly hired millennial is bringing to the company no matter how small it may seem. For Millennials, the importance is in seeing the progress and feeling like they are moving forward, moving upward, and adding value.
If a company can show how the millennial worker is adding value to the company or is making a positive impact for the company even in the slightest possible way, that would be enough to build the millennial worker’s loyalty with the company and he/she will feel more inclined to stay there.
2. Show your Millennial the upward mobility opportunities from day 1
Millennials are a generation that grew up with technology where access to information has been on the tip of their fingers. This means more Millennials have the innate desire to want to be informed. There are no guessing games, because information has always been readily accessible to Millennials.
So, from day 1, show the newly millennial team member the opportunities that are available within your organization. If there is upward mobility opportunity, show them early on, so that there is an incentive to leverage those opportunities.
I suggest you make sure there is upward mobility. Millennials get bored very fast and will soon be bored at a dead end position that does not pose challenge. More on this on tip 3 below. Failing to show the road map and the upward mobility opportunity with a millennial early on, would mean he/she has already looked for opportunities elsewhere.
3. Keep the work challenging and interesting
As you already read in tip 1 above, because Millennials are a group that actually cares to make an impact, no matter how small, boring work can easily lead a millennial to lose interest in the job. Keep the work interesting and challenging so your millennial talent can stay engaged and keep improving his or her progress. They are not the ones who are looking to clock in and out just to kill time unless the work becomes monotonous and boring, in which case, they will soon leave your organization altogether.
So, for employers who understand that, this is actually good news since Millennials want to be engaged with their work! Leverage it! Make the work challenging & interesting at all times and you will have an engaged millennial on your team!
4. Provide Recognition with Tangible Rewards & Incentives
Millennials look for tangible rewards and incentives. The good job pat on the back does feel good, but Millennials want something more. Well, actually that’s all human beings. The only difference is Millennials would actually feel that he or she should receive something more and will not hesitate to voice as such. All you have to do is provide a tangible reward and incentive in recognizing the accomplishment of your millennial.
I met a banking executive at a Global Forum where I was a speaker for the session called, “Navigating the Millennial Driven Economy.” There, she shared how her bank in California has built an incentive for their employees to get assistance with their student loans as part of their compensation along with their salary.
This program is simply genius! What better way to gain your millennial staff’s loyalty than to help them out with their financial load in paying off their student loans? It doesn’t have to be a large amount. The point is, this bank was smart enough to identify with its Millennial staff, did the research and implemented a program that connected with their millennial workforce. The key is to provide an incentive or recognition in a relevant way for the Millennial employee. That’s why the student loan program works so well.
The reward and incentive does not have to be anything grand, it just needs to be something that says, “We understand your world and we care about your well-being and success.” If you have not done so, build and implement a tangible reward and incentive program immediately!
5. Match Make a Meaningful Mentor
Contrary to the popular belief that Millennials belong to the know it all club, we actually see tremendous value in meaningful mentorships. The key word is, “meaningful.” Many companies have a mentorship program just to say that they have it, but it often lacks quality and meaning. The lack of thought and care in developing their so called, mentorship program is obvious by the disengaged mentors and the lack of company commitment.
Millennials want quality mentorships. We actually want to look up to someone who can guide us and coach us and provide feedback so we can excel. Quality and meaningful mentorships are ones where the mentor and the mentee are paired strategically and match makes the mentor and the mentee who would be able to find mutual value in quality relationship that can blossom from the mentorship. Developing a quality mentorship program requires getting to know both the mentor and the mentee from the organization.
Starting out with a short survey to get to know the applicants would be a great way to start. Doing focus groups would also be great. Companies can also collaborate with outside mentorship programs via various organizations that have the mentorships built into their programs already.