Engage and Retain Millennials With These Rules

Julie Shenkman
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Spurred by negative stereotypes of millennials, some employers may be reluctant to recruit and promote young workers, who could otherwise be valuable assets to their companies. Despite a reputation as entitled slackers, the millennial generation is a diverse group with strengths and priorities that differ from those of their predecessors. Recruit top talent and keep the millennial generation engaged providing the benefits and professional growth young employees value in the workplace.

Recruit Strategically

When recruiting for entry-level or junior positions, potential should be as important as experience. Determine what personalities and skills are most suited for the positions you're filling, and look for candidates who meet those criteria. Millennials are more likely to stay at companies that maximize their strengths, driving them to perform better and present innovative ideas.

Make an Impact

Motivate employees to go the extra mile by setting a good example of social responsibility. The millennial generation is attracted to employers who back up their stated values with positive actions. Give your entire workforce a shared sense of purpose by organizing volunteer work or sponsoring donations, and show employees how their jobs contribute to social causes and improve their communities.

Offer Flexibility

The millennial generation watched older relatives dedicate years to the same thankless employers, often without promotion or recognition. As a result, many millennials value work-life balance over a higher salary and prefer employers who care about their well-being. Offer telecommuting opportunities and flexible work schedules, making it easier for employees to accommodate their families and pursue personal projects.

Foster Career Growth

For millennials, loyalty is a two-way street, and they have no incentive to stick with employers that don't prioritize their professional development. Treat everyone in your company as a potential leader, and provide continuous training through mentoring and team collaboration. Pair millennials with senior employees who can draw out their strengths and give them a firsthand look at what it takes to succeed at higher levels in the company.

Millennials are a fast-paced, social-oriented and tech-savvy group, so offer online resource portals for self-guided learning and social learning events where they can build relationships with company leaders.

Deliver Feedback

Transparency is key for young workers, who appreciate regular feedback about their performance. If you want to motivate employees, clearly communicate the company's goals, the employee's role in achieving those goals and your methods for evaluating staff performance. Instead of viewing feedback as coddling, show workers you respect their hunger for growth while encouraging them to think critically and independently.

Embrace Diversity

In the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 36 percent of respondents reported higher levels of satisfaction in environments that foster equality and inclusiveness, 42 percent valued mutual tolerance and support, and 38 percent valued employers who actively encourage all employees to contribute ideas. The millennial generation is inspired by social change and technological innovation. Young workers expect forward-looking employers to foster creativity and collaboration between diverse groups of people with different ideas and perspectives, helping the company accomplish goals that might not have been possible otherwise.

Like it or not, the millennial generation makes up 25 percent of the workforce, and that number is climbing fast. Prepare to compete for sought-after talent by building an uplifting environment where millennials are motivated to tackle the company's greatest challenges.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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