Keeping staff members happy, engaged, and motivated makes them more likely to stay within their job for longer and perform better, while ensuring that you don’t continually have valuable organisational knowledge walking out the door. Increasing retention rates significantly saves time and money, too, because you don’t have to keep searching for and training new workers.
However, when it comes to retention, it is important to keep in mind that there can be different motivations involved and thereby different strategies required, especially when you’re talking about millennial employees. If you need some ideas on how to ensure this group of staff members feels effectively engaged, acknowledged, appreciated, and rewarded, read on.
1. Enable employee mobility
One of the first things to note about most millennial employees is that they’re not purely focused on working their way up the corporate ladder or earning as much as possible. Instead, they are often interested in making lateral career moves if they think doing so will make them happier and more satisfied.
As a result, to keep millennials, be open to allowing them to change positions internally so they don’t need to quit to learn, grow, and find a new challenge. Keep in mind that giving your employees the support and opportunities they need to explore numerous paths within the business doesn’t need to be seen as a negative.
On top of keeping talent and reinforcing engagement levels, allowing mobility means workers have the chance to learn how an organisation works across many departments and numerous functions. This, in turn, provides a solid foundation for them to become future leaders, because they understand it well; and also makes it more likely that the cross-pollination will result in new opportunities being seen and more problems solved quickly and innovatively.
2. Provide plenty of learning and development opportunities
As you can imagine, millennials are always very keen to develop new skills and to get experience in different areas. As such, it is important for companies to provide these employees with plenty of learning and development opportunities.
There are various ways you can go about this. For example, you can provide workers with mentors who come from more senior positions within the company, or even externally; you can set up employee exchange programmes; you can organise internal or external training; and you can bring in speakers to talk about specific topics or simply to motivate and inspire team members.
In addition, it can be a good idea to invest (either fully or partially) in the educational programmes which millennials are interested in. For instance, you can support them to complete an MBA degree for more all-round business knowledge, or help them to attain qualifications in other, more specific, areas.
3. Customise strategies by asking what they want, rather than guessing
Lastly, keep in mind that millennials have grown up in an era when customised experiences and product choices are a given. As such, they typically like to feel that their personal, individual needs are being addressed, and that they are not being treated like “everyone else.”
As such, it is helpful if you ask them what they want when it comes to employee perks, rewards, appreciation efforts, and other types of HR strategies. Focus on their individualism, instead of treating them as a generalised group. This will not only ensure that your millennial workers are more engaged and likely to stay within the organisation, but also optimises your resources. By allocating funds to those things that employees are really after, you will ensure money is spent on the things that get results.
While in the past workers were typically focused on the financial aspects of their jobs, or on receiving a promotion, millennials often place value on other things too. For example, they tend to need to find meaning and purpose in their jobs, so being thanked for their efforts and getting a chance to see the impact of their hard work can be key. You might want to consider buying regular thank you gifts that are tailored to your individual workers.
Because millennials are very focused on achieving work/life balance, they also often respond well to being rewarded with extra time off work for a job well done, or getting the chance to choose their own hours or work locations more often. In addition, they can like time being made available for them to give to philanthropic projects during the work day; or receiving lifestyle perks in the workplace such as free massages, meals, childcare and health insurance, or access to free or discounted gyms, meditation spaces, and the like.
Tiffany Rowe is the Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility.