Wide Eyed, Working, Wanting to Grow – The Millennial Dilemma

Wide Eyed, Working, Wanting to Grow – The Millennial Dilemma

Born between (approximately) 1980 and 2000, Millennials make up the largest group in the labor force. Most employers are eager to recruit this generation and figure out how to retain them once they are on board, because they tend to quit after a short time. This cohort of 81 million grew up in the digital world. They are natural multi taskers with high expectations that their workplace will meet their needs, goals, and expectations. They come equipped with self-confidence, multiple skill sets, tech know-how. If they don’t sense growth in their job, and an equitable payoff for their work and effort, they will walk. Employers repeatedly hear from Millennials that they want their work to be purposeful, meaningful and important. The more that is known about what drives Millennials in the workplace, the better chances
are to attract and retain them.

Great-Grandpa, Grandpa, Dad, and Me

For the first time in history, young professionals are joining a 4- and 5-generation workplace. This is because of unprecedented longevity and hard economics that creates the need to work beyond the traditional “retirement” age.  From the beginning of their employment, managers should build appreciation for all staff across those generations. As the youngest staff afoard, Millennials have been used to being coached from childhood in everything. Now that they are in a profession, employers should find out who in the field could serve as their teachers or mentors. They should ask what skills other workers have, that Millennials should develop.  Down-to-earth advice from Beverly Kaye, a career development pioneer, has authored many books on the subject, including Up is not the Only Way, Love Em Or Lose Em: Getting Good People to Stay,  Love It, Don’t Leave It, and  Help Them Grow or  Watch Them Go. She offers the following tips.

  • ASK your Millennial employees for their advice on incentives that would matter the most to them
    •Establish community initiatives and volunteer opportunities that speak to millennials
    •Promote service related projects and provide time for employees to pursue these activities to fuel their desire for civic engagement and community challenges that interest them.
    •Offer workplace incentives to those who participate in service related options.
  • ASK employees what about working in your company (such as perks) matters most to them. Build your incentives based on their highest priorities.

Friendship, Food and Fun

Additional suggestions to encourage the longevity of a Millennial’s employment:

  • Bring team members at all levels together for collaboration…ensure that the organizational strategies resonate with Millennials. If not, find common bonds.
  • Engage with employees; involve them early on; provide personalized orientation and one-on-one dialogue.
  • Learn about what they value, how they want to make an impact, what influences them, what challenges them to participate. Link their interests to causes in which the organization is already involved. These employees will be your next tier of leadership, so you want them to stay. Groom them to take on significant roles that will keep them engaged.

Link millennials with seasoned professionals who will include them as part of a team and challenge them to produce valued results for the team.

Help Millennials understand where their work will lead.

Include Millennials in meetings to tap their creativity and heighten their involvement at work.

Gather Millennials in a small group to brainstorm ways to build open mindedness and curiosity about processes that need improvement.