Employee loyalty means something different to millennials than many employers are used to. Gone are the days where young workers find a job after college and stick with it for 20 years. Today, the average twenty-something is far more loyal to their own career advancement than they are to the companies they work for, and their average tenure is around two years. This monumental shift has put a strain on companies, leaving many to wonder how they can entice talented millennials to stay loyal for a longer period of time. While there is no silver bullet to overcome this challenge, there are things that companies can do to better engage their younger workers.
Provide Regular, Ongoing Feedback
Millennials thrive on constant feedback. They want to know when they are doing things well, and when they are not. It is easy to perceive this as sheer neediness, but there are benefits to offering regular feedback to all employees. An easy way to incorporate this is to schedule brief weekly check-ins with every team member. These can be as short as five minutes long. Managers should touch base, get a handle on where projects stand, and offer feedback about what is working well and where there may be opportunities for improvement.
Millennials are also known for asking a lot of questions. While baby boomers and Gen Xers might take instructions and run with them, millennials will ask a litany of questions before, during and after a project. Assigning a mentor gives a millennial someone to address their questions to while providing a role model within the company. Mentors could be incentivized to help them remain engaged in the relationship. Every time their mentee achieves a milestone, for example, the mentor may be given a small reward.
Focus on Career Development
Millennials are always thinking five steps ahead when it comes to their careers. They may be working in an entry-level job, but they know they want to advance, grow their responsibilities and increase their income. Laying out a clear path for them from day one allows millennial employees to visualize a future with the company. Invest in training both on the job and outside the organization, and during annual reviews, managers should discuss employees’ goals and the steps they need to take to achieve them.
Embrace Flexible Schedules
Millennials grew up with computers and smartphones. They believe that work can happen anywhere, at any time and it can be difficult to get them to see the value of reporting to work from nine-to-five each day if they are capable of getting their work done on time, remotely. Floating schedules, work-from-home days, job share and other flexible options show a team that you value their work-life balance, and keeps them engaged in their work.
Millennials have vastly different career expectations than older generations, but providing regular feedback, showing interest in their success and overall career growth, and embracing flexibility helps employers strengthen their relationships with younger workers and keep them loyal longer.
If you are looking for innovative ways to improve hiring and retention among millennials, Contemporary Staffing Solutions in King of Prussia can help. We have a strong network of HR professionals from entry level through management who are ready to help you heighten your human resources department. Email us today to learn more about our dynamic results.