For retaining Millennials, it’s important to know the delicate balance between the two, understanding what motivates them, what doesn’t. Given the fact that millennials differ in some ways from a recruiting and retention standpoint, they too largely want the same things from their employers as most generations. They look for growth opportunities, great managers, and jobs that are well-suited for their talents and interests. In order to retain their Millennial employees, organizations need to provide these attributes.
The number of articles that have done the rounds around managing and engaging millennials would have probably crossed the number of millennials that have come into the corporate world. While there is no doubt that companies had to be ready for this important change, I don’t think it has been a challenge for most companies to manage this talent pool.
Simon Sinek rightly pointed out that millennials are no different from those from pre-millennial era. They are just looking for someone to understand their needs and give them the space to express themselves and help them make a difference. Most companies were ready to embrace this change and create an eco-system that lets them thrive.
What changes is the definition of their expectations. For example, recognition is a deep rooted human need that is not generational. What differs is definition of millennials of recognition. While traditionally recognition was restricted to certificates, awards and cash prizes; millennials look at exposure, learning opportunities and quality of work experience as a form of recognition for their good work.
Here are a few recommendations that may work as a retention tool for millennials in today’s job market:
Mentors not Managers – Millennials are from the internet era where the access to information was always a click away. They have been exposed to global content & trends way earlier and faster than most from Gen X. Hence, they look up to their superiors to not just give them information but also empower them to use information and make meaningful interventions. They are looking for fresh perspectives, creative inputs/insights and a guide who can help them achieve their full potential. Also, millennials look for fast paced learning & exposure; and a good mentor can help them achieve this critical need that can be a great retention tool for the millennial workforce.
Inclusion, Autonomy & Empowerment – Millennial’s need to find ‘meaning’ in their job is paramount. They don’t want to be in a job that just pays them well and takes care of their bills. They are interested in understanding what does the company stand for? What is its vision for its customers and how do they add value in the food chain? Their need for inclusion is a key factor for engaging them for a long term. This needs to be coupled with giving them autonomy to express themselves. This would mean keeping some room for them to experiment and fail yet empower them to lead key projects that has high value & potential for the company.
Fast Track Career Growth & Exposure – Millennials, for the lack of a better word, can be called very demanding and selfish when it comes to their career growth and learning. They don’t just want to be a part of the team that helps company grow faster, they also demand an exponential career growth and opportunities that fast track them professionally. Onshore opportunities, periodic new projects, diverse learning curve are all important factors for millennials to continue in any organization. Expecting them to work on the same project without any incremental opportunities or new challenges may lead to high disengagement and monotony. Organizations need to consciously work on ensuring millennials see a clear growth path.
‘Me’ Time – Millennials are not the generation that looks for work-life balance, but they expect to get their ‘Me’ Time. It means it is possible that they would be watching a new Netflix original in office and stay up all night to create new products and complete that important presentation. They don’t like to be defined by a timeline that instructs when to work and when to rest. They like to identify their peak hours and be owners of the deliverables than be just instruction followers. Their idea of productivity is not restricted to conventional definitions the Gen X have grown upon.
Millennials constitute to the majority of the workforce in the world and they have been instrumental in bringing disruption among companies in their own way. They have forced organizations to move from their comfort zone and push the envelope in terms of how companies look at engaging the talent pool.
It’s upto us now to make sure we are able to bring the best out of them by creating services that propel them to express themselves and bring new transformations in the coming years!