I am a proud Millennial and this year marks my 8th anniversary with my current company. I don’t think I’m much different than the stereotypical Millennial, so why I haven’t jumped ship yet?
Here is a list of the top 6 things from my first-hand experience that my employer has done to engage and retain Millennials like me:
- Meaningful Work: Millennials want to be heard and want to feel like they are making a difference. They value purpose over stability. Tie their work into larger goals rather than process-oriented positions and you’ll keep their attention longer because they are focusing on the big picture and end results, rather than the monotony of daily tasks. I can guarantee you, if a Millennial feels like they are working a standard ‘9-5 job,’ they will turnover quickly. Give your Millennials purpose – if they don’t understand the meaning behind what they are doing, they will disengage.
- Work-life Balance & Flexibility: Millennials will work just as hard as the previous generations, as long as you allow them to work at a pace that works for them. Millennials value their days off and value their vacation time more than their predecessors; in fact, they value flexibility more than pay in most cases. Employers need to understand this and encourage work-life balance among Millennials. This will create more hard working, productive, and HAPPIER employees.
- Educational Support: By valuing continued education and growth, employers keep their Millennial employees engaged and focused. By supporting and sponsoring Millennials through the completion of further education and training programs, not only will employees stay longer, but they will bring innovation to the workplace. Whether it is financial support, flexibility to allow for schoolwork, and/or the ability to use the workplace for educational case-studies, educational support is key to Millennial engagement.
- Career Development: Millennials have big dreams and even bigger expectations. By communicating realistic steps and timelines on how to achieve their goals, Millennials are more likely to stick around to see the goals through to fruition. Don’t just show them the big picture, show them how to get there.
- Transparent/Performance-based Pay: Ditch the old nepotism and tenure-based pay systems. Millennials expect to be fairly compensated for the work that they do. Link specific performance goals to pay and be transparent about how the performance management system works. In order to engage and motivate Millennials, compensation needs to be individualized and based on specific objectives for the role. And don’t forget to spot check and give feedback between performance and compensation reviews!
- Socialization: Social and emotional intelligence is becoming more and more important in the workplace and is also more of a priority to younger workers. Give Millennials time to socialize at work – have corporate culture building events, set up a mentorship program, create social committees – allow time for, and encourage, human interaction in workplace.
Often times, employers get caught in the trap of sticking with what has worked in the past and blaming/stereotyping the new generations for not fitting in (i.e. Millennials are lazy, entitled, jump jobs a lot). Millennials are not the issue. Employers have just lagged in adjusting their culture/benefits/ programs to align with the needs/wants/motivators for Millennial’s. Instead of blaming Millennials for their differences and upbringing, if employers want to engage and retain their next generation of employees, they need to listen to them and adjust to meet their needs.
An article written by Diana Trasolini, Senior Director of People and Culture for Paladin Security. Diana is a product of Paladin's promotion from within philosophy, and has worked progressively more responsible positions within the company for eight years. She has demonstrated success in all of her roles proving to be a leader of our Paladin culture. Diana holds a BA in Psychology, Post Baccalaureate Diploma in HR Management, CPHR Designation, and Masters in Human Resources Management and Employee Relations.