Millennials. It’s a word that strikes terror into the heart of many employers! But this demographic will form 75% of the workforce by 2025 so its vital businesses know how best to harness the skills and talent of this group.
Millennials are a complex creature so let’s take a look at a few areas you can consider in your business that will help engage and retain the talent that will drive the best results for your business.
Millennials represent those born between 1981 and 1996 which means they aren’t as young as you may assume. In fact, Gen Z is starting to enter the workforce but they are a topic for another blog! Currently, the Millennial generation range from around 23 to 38 years old – meaning we have those in the early stages of their careers right through to those who would be considered seasoned professionals.
A key discovery of a survey carried out by Galaxy Research was that no matter the age of the Millennial, they averaged just 3.4 years in their last few roles. This is nearly half as long as their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. It’s important to know that Millennials move around more than any other generational group but it’s even more important to understand why so that you can address the needs that may not have been met and increase your chance of retaining the great talent that you have in your business.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Millennials will stay with an employer if they are able to continue developing skills and having access to training that will take them on to their next role. They are not happy to simply sit back and wait for an opportunity to become available that they may have the experience for – they want to be ready and they want to leapfrog into that next role.
What this means for your business is simple – ensure you look at training and professional development you can offer your team that will keep them engaged and primed for promotion. You may not have a structure that allows for promotions but you can offer training that expands skillsets that reflect the growth and development needs of your business. This is a win-win scenario as your Millennial employees will understand that they can continue to acquire new skills and you will have a workforce that is highly skilled, motivated, engaged and able to move forward with you as your business requires.
George spent 48 years working for the same company. Starting in the mailroom, he moved into accounts after a couple of years and then spent 46 of those years doing the exact same job! Advancements in technology meant his skills were no longer relevant and the company helped transition him into retirement. This is not a career path that a Millennial is likely to follow. Nope, they are referred to as job-hoppers and whilst this isn’t exactly a positive image, the reality is that they will see far more diversity in their careers than other generational demographics.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean they will jump from company to company – there are ways to retain great Millennial talent by delivering the variety within their career development that they seek.
How? Good question. If your business has the ability, and you see the advantage, you may be able to offer Millennials the opportunity to move between different areas of your company where they have an interest, allowing them to drive their career progression. Millennials don’t always see career advancement in the ‘old fashioned’ way where experience and ability resulted in seniority and length of service awards were displayed proudly. Millennials put more stock in results so if you can provide them with opportunities to deliver while also offering diversity in their career, they are more likely to stay within your organisation.
THE DIGITAL SOCIALITE
Millennials have grown up in a world where social media came into being and has been a constant through their formative years. While some of your older employees may shake their heads at the world of social media and the likes of the Kardashians, Millennials see social media as a platform that allows them to present a persona that is the best version of themselves and it’s a place that the personal and professional merge. The New York Times have named it “toil glamour” suggesting that “merely liking one’s job is not enough. Workers should love what they do, and then promote that love on social media, thus fusing their identities to that of their employers.”
How do you make this work for your business? With Millennials ‘fusing’ their identities with that of your workplace, your business values become extremely important. Millennials won’t boast about their work – or post about your business in a positive light – if you don’t deliver on an ethos or provide a culture they believe in and admire. Millennials believe that business has a massive role to play in social responsibility and Millennials want to work with businesses who have purpose beyond profit. Millennials will fuse their identify with your business, and post about it. And these posts aren’t trivial as a single employee’s post has the ability to go viral and have a greater positive – or negative – impact on a business than anything placed on the official platforms run by the business. So make them proud to be part of your business. Involve them in identifying the company values if you haven’t already done so and allow them to become ambassadors for your business. You will reap the benefits.
If you need help identifying opportunities in how you manage your Millennial workforce, want to run a culture and values workshops, set up training sessions or any other HR matter, call the team at HR Staff n' Stuff - we are here to help when you need us.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!