What millenials want at work (and why they leave)

Millennials currently comprise more than a third of the American labor force, making them the largest generation in the workplace. This generational cohort has several distinguishing characteristics: they are more diverse, less religious, and more open minded than preceding ones.

They are also the generation most likely to job hop, so managers need to consider what will keep this particular generational cohort engaged and willing to stay with an organization.

Why do millennials leave?

As mentioned, if their relationship with their employer sours, millennials have no problem moving on to the next company. Their reasons for leaving jobs fall into two main categories:

Lack of Engagement – Millennials seek jobs that make them feel worthwhile, and they will keep looking until they find it. You can boost your chances of retention from the very start with a strong onboarding strategy. Make them feel welcome and motivated the moment they enter your company. Additionally, millennials crave feedback, so provide performance reviews, both formal and informal, more than once a year.

Obsolete Management Styles – Old-school management styles don’t appeal to millennials. They don’t want bosses, they want coaches. Instead of one-sided annual reviews, millennials prefer two-sided conversations about performance expectations, growth, and skill development. Millennials want managers who can recognize their value on a personal level and help them identify and develop their strengths and skills.

What makes millennials stay?

Even though they are often stereotyped as lazy, coddled and overly sensitive, millennials value mobility and independence. They want responsibilities and feedback on how to do better. In fact, millennials gravitate towards jobs that offer growth. Otherwise, they become bored and unhappy. So, provide millennials with an environment that’s rich in the following:

Learning – Millennial employees want to grow in their careers. Impress them by embedding opportunities to immediately develop skills withing your onboarding process. Plus, your process should clearly promise future chances for education.

Offering self-directed learning opportunities will enhance the appeal of your professional development program. Taking ownership of their learning enhances millennials’ employee experience, so a platform that enables self-directed learning will increase buy in. Such platforms also allow human resources to “future fit” an organization’s learning landscape to better accommodate changes in trends and learners’ needs.

Purpose – Millennial tend to be socially conscious and want a job or mission that brings positive change to their community or the world. Keep these workers engaged by making them part of any mission that helps the community, industry, or cause. If they can’t help the world through their job, give them opportunities to organize ways to give back to the community (for example, United Way’s workplace campaigns).

Also bear in mind that millennials generally want to work with companies that share their values. Younger generations will not hesitate to disagree with a company’s business practices, values, or political leanings.

Culture – In a positive and productive work culture, everyone holds themselves accountable shows respect for their colleagues, creating a sense of community. Encourage collaboration among the entire staff, particularly millennials. Also promote transparency (open, honest communication) between teams, departments, and management to cultivate a culture of trust.

Make changes to embrace this new culture as it grows. For example, you can plan company outings, rearrange the office space, or schedule group lunches to bring employees together. Be sure to include remote workers in these events; they can participate via real-time apps.

Flexibility – Nowadays, many people have the option of working in home offices rather than office buildings. Their employers don’t care where a task is done, just that it’s done well and completed on time. This type of flexibility can attract millennials, and research shows that they do well with independent work when they have clear instructions, frequent feedback, and support when they need it. You can increase also flexibility through alternative work schedules, which will help you accommodate the work-life balance that this generational cohort craves.

Family Leave – As young couples start families, more fathers want paternity leave so that they can take a more active role in their children’s early development and support their partners. When companies provide flexibility for employees whose families are dealing with life-changing events, such as childbirth (or life-threatening illnesses), this type of compassion builds a two-way relationship and increases employee loyalty.

Social trends and technological advances have imbued millennials with perspectives and expectations that often differ from those of preceding generations. But they bring higher levels of education, familiarity with technology, and more valuable attributes to an organization. When millennial employees give you their loyalty, they will be a powerful part of your workforce.

Onboard millennial top talent and watch your success story unfold with the help of HireRoad solutions. Contact us for more information.