There is a lot of buzz around millennials, both good and bad. To some, they’re go-getters and digital masters. To others, they are entitled snowflakes.
Whichever way you view millennials, they are big news, especially when it comes to your workforce. Millennials are the largest generational workforce and come with a reputation for job-hopping and costing businesses millions in recruitment fees.
So, is this opinion valid? Moreover, how can you keep this sector of your workforce happy to increase millennial retention levels?
Who are millennials?
Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are those born between 1984 and December 1994. This group currently makes up a quarter of the UK population and are the largest generational workforce in the country.
Are millennials flaky?
Millennials have a reputation among some for ‘flaking’ on jobs and being non-committal, especially when it comes to employee loyalty. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the millennial workforce is any different from the generations that proceeded them.
That said, the statistics do show that millennials can be harder to retain in organisations. Recent research has found that around 60% of millennials would be receptive to new job opportunities outside of their current employers.
Furthermore, out of all the generations in the current workplace, they are the generation most likely to switch jobs. So much so that 43% of those surveyed say they would like to leave their current job within two years. Similarly, 21% of millennials have switched jobs in the past year alone.
Many businesses play down turnover rates. After all, new recruits can bring fresh ideas and vitality to the team. But, while turnover rates may not be a concern, engagement levels often are. Worryingly, the Gallup report found that millennials are the least engaged generation in the workplace.
For a successful business, employee engagement is essential. So with this in mind, it may be time for organisations to reconsider how they focus on employee engagement and realise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, each generation is looking for different things. What works for your Baby Boomers and Generation X employees may not work for your millennial staff.
So, what do millennials want from their employers, and how can you boost millennial engagement?
Top ways to increase millennial employee engagement
Aside from salary, one of the most significant factors that millennial employees consider when choosing a job is how the business focuses on enhancing communities. Millennials often jump ship from companies which do not behave in an ethical manner, or when they believe the number one concern of the business is simply to increase profits.
Millennials want to work for organisations that care for the planet and society, rather than just their own agenda. Fortunately, this is something that all employees and all businesses can become passionate about. Whether it’s contributing to a chosen charity, changing your business processes to become more environmentally friendly or focusing on broader societal issues, there are many things that organisations can do to show their commitment to the community and, in turn, improve millennial engagement.
Only 44% of millennial employees have faith that their employer can enact meaningful change in society. Make sure your business isn’t letting your passionate workforce down.
Be more digital
The millennials were born in a period of huge technological advancement. As a result, many millennials do not want their employers to stand still when there is an opportunity to improve systems, processes and productivity with digital tactics and technology.
As your millennial workforce are ‘Digital Natives’, this opens up a massive opportunity for your tech-savvy employees to move your business into the ‘always-connected world’.
Your millennial employees are hungry for a challenge and entrusting them to lead projects which adopt more technology and digital advancements into the workplace could rapidly propel your business, while also boosting engagement levels.
Learning and mentoring
Millennial employees are typically headstrong and have an ambitious career plan. Mentoring can help them to refine their ideas and identify their areas of weakness, as well as determining how to play to their strengths.
Similarly, your millennial employees will want to continually develop, learn and grow. This generation is used to having information at their fingertips. Encouraging e-learning in your organisation can help to provide your staff with a robust but flexible learning plan.
Individual perks at work
Your employees need to be treated as individuals, and if you want to engage every generation in your workforce, then it is essential to apply a range of employee engagement techniques and offer a variety of employee benefits. Don’t worry - this doesn’t have to mean creating a bespoke and expensive employee benefits package for each employee you recruit.
Instead, using providers such as Staff Treats means that you can offer the employee benefits that your team members really want, regardless of their age, generation or personality. Your employees can choose from a whole host of options. From wellness services to concierge time-savers, employee recognition to medical benefits, with Staff Treats you can keep your team engaged with unique and personalised benefits that do not break the bank.