I am a millennial. Yes, I am part of the lazy, screen-obsessed, entitled, participation trophy generation. The avocado toast addicted ruiners of everything from napkins to the diamond industry. We are, of course, also the most problematic generation to ever enter the workforce because of our ridiculous expectations and job-hopping habits. To make matters worse, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Bummer!
At Research Partners, we don’t hire millennials. You may find that confusing given that I work here. But here’s the deal – we hire individuals. We don’t believe in oversimplifying claims about an entire generation. Instead, we like to take a closer look at the differences and adjust our ways. Let me remind you that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce soon enough. We are also better educated, more tech-savvy, diverse, productive, and open-minded than previous generations. Perhaps most shockingly, we are workaholics!
Attract and Retain a Generation of Job-Hoppers
Millennials, seemingly more often than not, are willing to pursue opportunities with other companies. We have been labeled the job-hopper generation for a reason after all. Deloitte’s global millennial survey revealed that 49% of millennials would quit their jobs within the next two years if they had the choice. The top reasons for this are dissatisfaction with pay, as well as lack of advancement and development opportunities. However, not all are money chasers. So, other than pay raises and promotions what can employers do?
1. Be Flexible
Millennials are strong proponents of work-life balance. Flexible work schedules and the option to work remotely don’t just increase productivity, engagement, and organizational performance, they also help retain talent. The more flexible the workplace, the less likely millennials are to leave the company.
2. Acknowledge and Appreciate
The most common reason I get when I ask my millennial friends why they are not satisfied with their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. A paycheck is not enough to keep people motivated, employees also thrive on feedback and acknowledgement. The other day, I watched a TED talk given by Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He discussed an experiment he conducted in which participants were asked to keep repeating a worksheet that was then either acknowledged, ignored or shredded for increasingly smaller monetary rewards. It is not surprising that those participants whose work was ignored or shredded stopped participating much earlier than those who got a simple look of affirmation from the supervisor. Ariely says “Ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort before their eyes”. Here’s the actual TED talk (the part I am referring to starts at 8 minutes into the video):
3. Pursue Happiness, Not Satisfaction
If people aren’t happy with their jobs, chances are they won’t stay. Millennials want to see a clear purpose in their work, and this is not just limited to day-to-day tasks. They favor purpose-driven workplaces that place importance on improving society. So, if millennials want volunteer time or want to establish and participate in CSR programs, any company concerned with talent retention should find a way to make it happen.
At Research Partners, we actively follow market and workforce changes and trends and offer insight services to help your organization adjust and enhance decision-making processes. We also offer talent pipelining services to help your business plan ahead and manage risk.
Feature photo by Julián Gentilezza via unsplash.com