We keep hearing that Millennials seem to be more liberal with time in that they come in and leave the office on their own schedule. That they quit every six months or have unreal expectations on promotions. They are often referred to as “Generation We”, the “Boomerang Generation”, and the “Peter Pan Generation”. While some of that may be true, let’s not forget, that every new generation entering the workforce has typically been seen by older generations as not being as dedicated to their careers. Each generation has unique life experiences that largely play into how they show up at work. Millennials grew up with technology which continues to evolve to become more and more sophisticated, which has largely attributed to characteristics like wanting instant gratification.
I think many of us can attest to the positive contributions they can bring to our workplaces. Yet, many of our clients still seem to struggle in understanding how to engage and retain their Millennials. It’s important to know what drives them and to articulate how they can continue to grow and develop their careers at your organization.
Top 10 Ways to Retain and Develop High Performing Millennials
- Provide structure. This plays into the transparency that Millennials prefer. Having activities scheduled, goals clearly stated and progress assessed, as well as clearly defined assignments is an important aspect of their job.
- Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want someone to look up to, learn from, and receive regular, consistent feedback. They want to know the whole picture and how their contributions fit in. They want quality time spent on them by their manager teaching and coaching.
- Encourage self-assuredness and a “can-do” attitude. Millennials are ready to dive into a project and get started. Embrace their enthusiasm, confidence, and curiosity.
- Take advantage of their comfort with teams. Millennials are used to working in groups and are highly collaborative. They believe that together they can come up with a better solution.
- Listen. Millennials want to feel respected, valued and heard. Give them a chance to feel that they can help by sharing their ideas.
- Change is good. The same routine day in and day out is not appealing to any Millennial. Find ways to keep them engaged by providing change and opportunities to try something new. Perhaps give them an opportunity to coordinate or lead your Corporate Social Responsibility program?
- Millennial employees are multi-taskers. With their advanced skills in leveraging technology, Millennials tend to prefer to juggle multiple tasks at once. Don’t take this as a lack of interest if they are checking their email while attending a webinar, they simply believe they are being more efficient this way.
- Capitalize on their agility with networking and technology-centered knowledge. Millennials are constantly connected to some form of technology, making communication easy whether or not they are physically in the office. They are not only comfortable with team activities, but they enjoy networking all over the world.
- Provide a work-life balance. Millennials are used to having multiple activities on their calendar. They work hard, but their personal time is a critical aspect of their lives as well.
- Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. Millennials want to enjoy their job responsibilities and their workplace. Also of high value is establishing friendships within the workplace.
Millennials add great value to any organization. Millennials are team-oriented, purpose-driven, and value transparency and flexibility. They are highly engaged in the community, bring an element of energy and enthusiasm to your culture, and can enhance your efficiencies through technology and communication to help move the organization forward for the future.