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Keeping Millennials Where They’re Needed: In the Workplace

How to retain your next generation of employees

3 months ago   •   2 min read

by Alisa Gorokhova

According to a recent poll, over 50% of millennials are currently looking for a job. That number includes those that are currently employed, which is a scary thought as it indicates that employee satisfaction rates are demonstrably low within the millennial demographic. What’s more, it means that the employee turnover of the largest generation to enter the workforce is at an unsustainable peak.

The big question is not just “Why?” but also, more importantly, “How do employers fix dismal millennial employee engagement rates?”

It’s important to see the millennials’ relationship to the job-market. Thanks to the technology we all have literally at our fingertips, technology that millennials have never known not to exist, even far-reaching opportunities, are within easy reach. Thus, unlike for their predecessors, job hunting is more accessible than ever. Tools like LinkedIn even send alerts based on your profile when you are not actively job-hunting.

However, accessibility to affordable world-class job-hunting tooling is not the only driver for millennial employee turnover. Let’s not forget the often repeated mantra “employees leave managers, not companies.” It is well documented that millennial employees expect a different working relationship with their managers than their predecessors in the workforce did. Instead of managers who perform annual review checks, millennials expect ongoing feedback from coach-like managers. Remember, coaches don’t teach you how to play the sport; they guide you to play to your strengths. Playing to the strengths of millennials, rather than to their weaknesses, is a sure fire way of retaining excellent talent.

In fact, Gallup found that employees that have regular meetings with their managers are 3 times as likely to be engaged in their workplace. Moreover, they want to be in touch with their employers on a regular basis not just about work-related matters, but about their personal lives.

This speaks to the bigger concern millennials have which is that they don’t want work to be just work anymore. They need a bigger sense of purpose when it comes to their workplace environment. Millennials want to feel like they are contributing something more than their time and, ultimately, their youth.

In other words, millennials need constant reinforcement, coaching, and interest or they will use the many tools available to them to find employment where they will get what they need to build a career that will give them a sense of purpose. Not only that, but a workforce of fully engaged millennials contributes to a strong economy and marketplace, which is in the best interests of all generations. All of these factors speak to the fact that making sure the millennials in your workplace feel heard and like they’re contributing to the Greater Good is more than a “nice-to-have,” but a “must-have” for any organization.

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