Millennials often seem like a breed apart. They’re nothing like the employees that came before them, being more outspoken, more opinionated, and more creative. The children of revolution and rapid social change, they were brought up to believe that what they felt and thought meant something, and that if they only put their minds to it, they were entirely capable of changing the world.
It is this mind-set that gives them the often ingenious and grandiose ideas that have come to define them. Better connected than any generation before them, they know how to think outside of the box, and how to get their message across through the platforms that social media provides for them. It is these skills that enable them to turn ailing businesses around, and to inject a new and fresh vibe into ventures that have long been stagnating.
These are exactly the reasons why you want to hold onto them, and exactly the reasons that it’s so hard to do so. Millennials are determined to achieve, and where it feels like they’re unable to, like their opinions are neither heard nor heeded, they’re brave enough to move onto pastures new and leave your business venture behind.
Your job is to give them enough convincing reasons to stick around. To help you do that, here are three ideas to inspire you…
#1: Give Them Projects that Matter
Millennials are an opinionated bunch, and although some people say it as though it’s a bad thing, many of them are social justice warriors. Give them a cause to get their teeth into, and the means to do something worthwhile, and their job satisfaction will soar.
This needn’t be confined to in-house roles, but could also extend to charitable acts on the part of your business. A great PR exercise in and of themselves, such initiatives will not only change the world for the better, but make your millennials feel like they have a very good reason to stick around. As Project Hope Alliance CEO Jennifer Friend explains: “This unifies the brain and the heart in a powerfully compelling way that asks the ‘whole’ person to show up to work.”
#2: Be Flexible
Millennials often have a different mind-set to the generations that preceded them, and one aspect of this is their craving for flexibility. They have been raised to be creative, and also to understand the need for a positive work-life balance, neither of which are best supported by 9-5 hours. As an employer, try to understand this, and realise the attraction that emphasising productivity over clock-punching carries for these young professionals. Allow them the chance to develop methods that optimise their individual outputs, and you will breed an appreciation strong enough to engender a long-term sense of loyalty to your enterprise.
#3: Make Their Days Fun
You may yourself remember the importance of fun amongst the young, and at heart, many millennials have not yet reached the full throes of maturity. They want to feel excitement in their day-to-day lives, and turning up to a monotonous 9-5 and knuckling down until close of business does not help them to achieve this. Creating an environment that’s fun, friendly, and enjoyable will improve your staff’s productivity levels.
The Furniture Market should be held up as shining example of how to get it right. They recently held an office experiment to find out how vain their employees were. The investigation involved various pieces of their mirrored furniture and go pros to tactically catch the reactions. The results were great (watch the video on their blog!). Make your employees want to turn up to work each day, and the battle is half won already.
If you want to hold onto your top millennial talent, take some time to think about what we’ve said; a little change could go a long way towards transforming your working environment and achieving your goal.