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How to retain top millennial talent

Considering that millennials will become 50% of the workforce by 2020 companies need to consider methods to retain as well as attract the best millennial talent. We have previously discussed “a fun and flexible” workforce as being a driving factor for millennials but as a generation known as the “job hopping generation” is this enough to retain them in their roles. Gallups 2014 research shows that millennials are no stranger to investigating and perusing roles elsewhere, with six out of ten millennials being open to new job opportunities and only half of them expecting to be in their current job this time next year. This causes concern for employees as this influx of millennials into the workplace means that methods need to be put in place to retain their talent which is crucial for all future businesses.

So leading on from our previous blog how can employees work with millennials to retain them in businesses past that 12-18 months mark and what strategies can be put in place.

First we need to understand what millennials want and then how companies can provide this?

  • Understand the need for Flexibility

Millennials have grown up in an era with flexibility, so it’s no surprise that they want to bring flexibility to the workplace. Having the opportunity to work from home or flexible work hours means that work fits around the employee rather than vice versa, causing the working day to be more adaptable. These opportunities will often help retain employees as they will not seek these perks elsewhere. The 9-5 model is eroding and companies need to adapt to it.

  • Provide a positive attitude towards work-life balance and a positive company culture

Millennials place emphasis on the importance of the work-life balance.  Long working hours are therefore undesirable, as are anti-social working hours. Letting your employees know that they are not expected to stay late every night as long as the work is done will encourage employees to stay. Also, building a good company culture is essential; you want your employees to enjoy time with their work colleagues and coming to work. Introducing social events, away days, and sports events will build good colleague relationships and ensure that your colleagues feel valued. This will, in turn, cause your employee to feel a commitment to the company and their colleagues and hence retain their position.

  • Responsibility & Purpose

Deloitte found that “one in four” millennials are asking for the chance to show their leadership skills and the opportunity to be given real responsibility in the workforce.  Millennials are striving to excel and if left bored will often feel undervalued and leave the company. This is the same for meaningful work and the feeling of having a purpose at the workplace. If they do not feel that their work has a meaningful purpose they will often not feel motivated to work to their full potential.

  • Track career progression

According to Forbes the number one reason, millennials leave organisations is the lack of career progression. Millennials are focused on moving forward and have big career expectations, so providing a clear career progression plan and communicating to employees what they can be working towards will leave them feeling engaged and rewarded.  Even further, offsite events, conferences or training courses will allow your employee to continue to develop professionally and feel that they are moving forward in their career.

  • Build trust in the company

To retain your millennials past the 18-month mark they need to have trust and feel valued by the company. Millennials need constant nurture and praise, and in doing so will begin to trust that the company sees a potential for them and commit themselves.

With so many millennials now in the workforce, companies need to embrace the millennial mindset and learn how to retain them. Gallup estimates that the Millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually, hiring is expensive and it’s important to retain top talent instead of having a constant turnaround.