You’ve hired Millennials. Now how can you keep them around?
There is a current stereotype that millennial employees are too entitled, not loyal enough, no work ethic, only interested in themselves and so on so forth. However, things aren’t always what they seem with Millennial employees.
To better understand who your Millennial employees are and what drives them to succeed, perhaps it’s easiest to understand who they are not. You. That’s right. They may even be your offspring but in the workplace, they bear little resemblance to the you of yesteryear.
Gen Xers (born 1965-1979) and Millennials (born after 1980) are operating in this world with a completely different perspective. Their definitions of loyalty, time, and success are often quite different from yours. Rest assured they do recognize all of these concepts and value them in very important ways.
The key to your organization’s future success is understanding how the Millennials view the world and using that knowledge to motivate them in a way that works. Meet them where they are and they will achieve your underlying goals; try to force them to fit your definitions and they will run for the door every time. You can tailor your workplace to meet your needs and your employee needs. In meeting these needs, the company will thrive.
Millennials have a self-centred work ethic. This is not necessarily the negative that it may seem at first. Millennial employees are dedicated to completing their task well. They ask “what is my job” and go about figuring the best, fastest way to complete that task. Then they consider themselves done.
Understanding that being at the job isn’t as important to Millennials as completing the assigned task also opens up new opportunities for motivation and reward. Younger employees are very likely to respond to offers of paid time off.
Millennial employees have great respect for leaders and loyalty. But no, as a rule, they don’t respect authority just because. For the younger generations, every ounce of loyalty and respect must be earned. But when it is earned, it is given fiercely.
In fact, loyalty to the individual’s leaders and the boss is the number one reason Gen Xers and Millennial employees stay in a job, especially during the first three, tenuous years. Dissatisfaction with the boss is the number one reason they quit.
In order to increase retention, managers must take a flipped view on leadership — it is no longer enough to hire the right people and show them the way, now you must be the right person to win their affection. The faster leaders understand this new relationship, the faster you will see the reward: retention of Millennial employees.
The myths surrounding today’s young employees are not always what they seem. Attitudes toward work, life, loyalty, and respect have all changed, but each is still considered valuable.
Loyalty from younger employees, once earned, is long-lasting. The adjustments you make to accommodate the changing attitudes of today’s youth will be returned to you tenfold with decreased turnover, improved morale, and measurable business results.