It’s the topic every human resource manager has heard repeatedly: millennials are the future of the workforce. Research from Gallup found that millennials are the generation most likely to switch jobs 60% of one survey’s respondents are open to new job opportunities and they’re the least engaged generation in the workplace. Though many may think this is because millennials are bored and constantly looking for a new thrill, we know it’s all about culture.
This goes beyond the unlimited paid time off and best-in-class snack bars. Millennials are willing to put the work in to feel they are valued, against what others think. They want to be surrounded by committed and talented people who live and breathe the mission and culture of the company.
Check out these five realistic ways to maintain millennial employees:
- Put an individualized growth plan in place for personal, financial and professional desires.
Millennials tend to seek conscious training, feedback and a road map of what their future looks like during their time at any company, both inside and outside of the office’s walls. This is where mentorship programs are necessary and successful. Begin by pairing each staff member with a seasoned employee with like-minded goals. Success is in creating a meaningful partnership for both parties. The senior leader should get to know the millennial staff member and learn their goals at work and in life. You should have your senior leader approach your millennial employee with these key questions, “How can the company help you get to where you want to go?” and “How can you help the company get to where it wants to go?”
- Understand your communication approach and stick to it.
The days of phone calls and long, in-person meetings are gone — though it is still important to keep this communication tool a norm in the workplace for other generations. Companies need to start exploring other communication tools. Millennials are constantly overcommunicated due to the ever-increasing popularity of technology and social media. It’s important to start inputting other forms of communication to ensure millennials feel comfortable and have the freedom to get creative. Though email is what is used regularly at the companies I’ve worked for, I suggest looking into some workplace communication tools such as Slack or Basecamp. Most importantly, pick one way to maintain communication, and remember to stick to it.
- Craft a flat organization.
Flat organizations decentralize authority while still maintaining leadership and vision. Millennials express a desire to lead and to adapt. Companies need to ensure their structure models a flat organization or an inverted triangle. In other words, the hierarchy becomes less visible, and leadership is more accessible.
Millennials dislike the idea of having to navigate through multiple management leaders to get answers, especially if the “why” is “protocol.” They like to go straight to the source and feel empowered and comfortable when doing so.
Consider a radical structure reorganization or put more than one person as a leader per department.
- Check your pride at the door.
Many assume that it’s an age thing — millennials are lazy, and other generations are prideful. Companies need to break free of these incorrect assumptions and create equal opportunities for all employees. All generations need to work together in order to get things done and sail the company off to future success. This means checking pride at the door. Understand that all can bring beneficial ideas to the table, and all viewpoints should be considered.
- Educate and give 360 feedback.
A recent article in Harvard Business Review explains the importance of giving critical feedback in real-time. Educating your employees and constantly providing opportunities for 360 feedback is important for company success. You can collect feedback from colleagues, clients, and supervisors and allow the employee to participate in self-evaluation. Once the feedback is given, it’s important to narrow down items the employee needs to work on and establish the next feedback date.
Millennials are the future of the workforce, and companies must adapt if they want a future. No need to grant unlimited PTO or all-inclusive vacations to attract these employees. Start by implementing these steps and empowering your employees.
Article provided by Lindsay Patten, Forbes