Ah, millennials. The so-called, “lazy generation”. Many discredit this generation for their apparent lack of care. However, the conversation needs to shift to realise the strengths of millennials. Millennials were raised differently to baby-boomers and gen-Xers. They think differently, work differently. That difference needs to be celebrated and utilized. It certainly cannot be ignored.
Millennials are quickly taking over the workplace. They are starting their own businesses, running companies, and getting stuff done. As already stated, they work differently. Because of this, they change how the workplace traditionally operates. Millennials can be a great addition to a company for a number of reasons. However, if this company does not acknowledge how the millennial works, they are highly likely to leave within the first 2 years of starting there. So, how can a company better recruit and retain millennials in their workplace? Here are some tips:
Offer growth opportunities:
Millennials greatly value learning. This generation was taught repeatedly the importance of education. They were told that education is the key that unlocks doors to success. So why wouldn’t you honour that? Companies should offer learning incentives, such as sending employees on courses, workshops, classes etc. that can teach them new skills or strengthen already existing ones.
Beyond educational opportunities, companies should also offer opportunities for advancement/promotion. From giving millennials more responsibility, to new job titles, job advancement opportunities will show millennials that their company acknowledges them and the work they do.
A job is more than just a paycheck:
Millennials seek more out of their work than just a paycheck. They seek meaning, purpose. They want to make a difference. And they want to feel valued. If a job is just a means-to-an-end thing were they mindlessly work on stuff they don’t care about or feel connected to, they will not be truly satisfied. They will feel stuck. And while it is true that we should all search for meaning individually, it is important for employers to realise that they can help facilitate that process. Companies that have heart and soul, that acknowledge and value their workers, and that are honest create an environment of purpose. These companies honour their workers and their customers, creating a feeling of unity.
Work-life balance needs to be maintained:
Millennials want to still have a life outside of their work. They greatly value their downtime and want to experience the world. Beyond this, the world has become so greatly integrated and technological that remote work is possible across a number of industries. The traditional 9-to-5 work day is not appealing to millennials. Millennials value flexibility in their work. Offering working from home and flexible work hours as options show that employers value millennials time.
Revisiting company culture:
This generation, more than their predecessors, value diversity and inclusivity. They acknowledge and celebrate differences, and they expect their employers to do the same. All companies, regardless of whether or not they have millennial talent, should revisit their work policies and relook at their company culture to create a more inclusive environment.
New approaches to leadership:
This generation think differently. They were encouraged to create individual thought rather than follow the thoughts of others. Employers should celebrate that. The top-down approach is not as successful with this generation. Rather, millennials value a collaborative approach, where they are included and heard. They will question. They will respond. And they will disagree sometimes. It is thus important to speak with employees, not at them.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!