Retaining Millennials in Organizations: It’s not as hard as Everyone Thinks

In today’s world, millennials are labelled as job hoppers throughout the globe. According to data gathered from LinkedIn, employees graduated in between 2006-2010 switch jobs 2.85 times on an average during the first five years of their school completion. Generation X, when compared to this generation, switched jobs 1.6 times during the first five years after school completion –thus the labelling.

Due to this reason, stigmatization is faced by 20-something job switchers, leaving employers and businesses unprepared for abrupt turnover. What causes the most fear among organizations is that these people will soon become the largest driving force of the economy and also the biggest cohorts of workforce. Therefore, retaining them will become a critical factor for all organizations and employers. But before we get into the millennials retention programs, it is important that we understand a millennial’s mindset too. What if they aren’t the ones to blame in all of this? What if it isn’t their quick judgments and decision making the root cause of companies failing to retain them? What if there are some other factors that determine why they do what they do?

For starters, when millennials entered the workforce, the world economy was just healing from the 2008 Financial Crisis. To make themselves worth, all they needed was a job –any job. Gradually, as the economy stabilized, millennials saw attractive benefits such as higher salary, ability to shift locations without much haste, career growth opportunities and a better cultural fit. Unlike generations before them, millennials don’t do things solely for the purpose of earning higher, they also need to see themselves grow, demand better working conditions and crave social connections. Any company offering the combo of these became their top priority. They were more interested in exploration of jobs rather than climbing up the traditional hierarchy. Similarly, as they are not only driven by monetary rewards, incentive programs like power2motivate are great ways for them to get the regular recognition they seek.

So to blame them completely for being a job hopper can’t be justified. They had their reasons, same as the generations before them.

Coming to the main point, retention of such valuable assets is every company’s goals. In case an employer is struggling to keep up with this 20 something workforce, here’s is what he/she needs to do:

  1. Establish an open communication culture. Millennials love when they can easily take up their concerns, issues and ideas with the upper management without feeling small or unvalued. This helps build and promote a sense of mutual understanding and respect which is one trait all millennials admire.
  2. Ensure that you offer sufficient opportunities for training and development. Millennials hate monotony. They wish to keep learning and progressing rather than doing the same tedious tasks all day every day.
  3. Millennials crave feedback. Appreciation, be it in the tangible or intangible form will always be needs to keep them motivated and productive. Millennials wish that they be appreciated when they put extra efforts into something. When they don’t feel appreciated or recognized, their level of productivity and morale decreases.
  4. Give them flexible working hours. If you feel your workforce is more motivated after lunch time, call them in late and ask them to sit in late too. It may seem out of the norm, but if as an employer retention of valuable resource is your main concern; you will do all that you can to ensure they stay.
  5. If unsure, set up weekly meetings discussing the employee’s core needs and wants. Ask them what is the best thing about the organization, and also the worst.  Later, try to promote the good habits and culture and discard anything negative.

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