Your business is innovative. Your product or service is perfected. But still, it seems you are struggling to maintain a pool of skilled, motivated employees who desire to stick with it. If you’re like many companies, you may find that the research is playing out in front of you: Young people are job hoppers who are more likely than previous generations to leave jobs. About 60 percent of Millennials are currently open to a new jobs opportunity. They are the most likely to switch jobs. In fact, 21 percent of Millennials report switching jobs in the past year, compared to 7 percent of Gen Xers and other non-Millennials.
Additionally, more than 60 percent of Millennials report that they are open to a new job opportunity, even if they do not report overall dissatisfaction with their current employment situation. This means that businesses will need to invest as much time and effort on retention as they do in initial recruitment, especially since excessive job hopping is costing the US economy more than $30 billion a year. So what is a business to do if it wants to attract and retain talented young individuals?
Remember that commitment is a two-way street. Just because an employee leaves a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an employee dislikes the job or lacks commitment or loyalty. Employees may choose to leave if the employer is acting unfairly or if the work environment is not appropriate. Companies that seek to inspire long-term commitment to their business need to value their employees and to provide benefits that interest and incentivize the work. Here are some ideas for doing just that.
Idea #1: Match Purpose and Values
Millennial workers are self-aware and socially aware. Companies that have a purpose with which they can identify are very attractive. The greater the match between the vision and mission of the company and an employee’s values and sense of what matters to him personally, the more likely it is that company will attract and maintain a relationship with that employee. For most companies, this means developing a compelling backstory and investing time and interest in the growth of the individual. It means placing cooperation high on the priority list. Millennials value flexibility and growth. They prefer collaboration over competition, and desire to feel as if they are contributing to social good.
Businesses that set up give-back programs, invest in community service, are environmentally conscious, or set up scholarship funds are very popular.
It’s important that there is consistency between what is promoted on Magic Social is consistent with what the employee actually sees at work. When recruiters share positive stories to employee candidates about what it means to work for a company, it is important that the experience of current employees reflects that. While a strong external brand is important, promotion of the brand and customer knowledge of the brand is no longer taking place solely through marketing and advertising, but also through the good word of current employees. Companies that deliver on their commitments and dedicate themselves to an accurate representation of their mission, vision, and values are more likely to retain loyal employees.
Idea #2: Encourage Work-Life Balance
While home-work balance is not something that appeals to only Millennials, it can be said that many workers currently in the workforce embrace flexible working hours. They seek digital solutions to both straight time and overtime. Remote jobs are highly prized, as today’s workers want to do jobs that allow them to work when and where it makes sense in the broader view of their lives. They want a more fluid use of time and find solutions to potential imbalances in their lives. Today’s workers are juggling complicated home lives that include raising children, caring for sick or elderly parents, and working more than one job to make ends meet.
Companies that encourage a blending of work and life by supporting the development of their employees outside of work are especially attractive. Many millennials do not wish to be micromanaged or punch a traditional time clock, so businesses should consider ways that work life can be infused with informal leisure activities. In addition to flexible working hours, examples might include during- or after-hour running or walking clubs, football tournaments, afternoon socials, and events sponsored to include families.
Idea #3: Offer Feedback and Recognition
Millennials are used to constant changes and handle them with a greater degree of efficiency. As a generation raised to believe that they are in control of their future and their fate, this group of workers will move on to new, more interesting, or more dynamic career opportunities if they do not see the value or promise in what they are currently doing.
As a result, it’s important for businesses to offer employment “tracks,” rather than fixed positions so that they are able to explore new career paths and develop new skills within the same company. Other popular employee ideas are incentivized programs that provide a range of benefits and recognition. Finding a means for rewarding strong performances and providing opportunities for growth will help your company retain talented and skillful employees.
What are some things you look for in an employee or employer? Share your ideas or suggestions here.