Millennial retention: four things businesses need to know

Did you know that millennials are more likely to leave a job than other generation? In fact, they’re nearly twice as likely to quit. It’s a significant figure – and amplified when you consider the cost factor (i.e. invested time, effort and money into hiring or training, loss of potential, etc). 

The “why” factor is few and far between; not least, however, due to the fundamental values-based system this generation has. On which some things are clear – and on what you, as a business, need to know. Why? To elevate retention and recruitment of top millennial talent.

1. Opportunities for development are a must 

Learning, development, and growth are big-ticket items for millennials. The reality is, millennials won’t remain in a job that’s boring, mundane or has no room for growth or career development. Millennials have a yen for responsibility and opportunity. They want opportunities that allow them to flourish. For example, moving around the office, trying new roles, acting up or promotional opportunities. They want to feel valued and assured that their career progression and wants can be fulfilled – regardless of how long that tenure is within a company.  

2. Outdated ways of working won’t cut it 

As Darwin would agree, adaptation is a must: should survival be on the agenda. This applies to ways of working and workplace culture. For those that fall into an older demographic, there is going to need to be a willingness to adapt to the shifts in millennial work culture. That means re-adjusting views or beliefs that are grounded in the idea of seniority taking precedence over innovative ideas that may come from millennials.

The reality is, antiquated processes will not work, nor should they.  We only need to look at the world’s forward-thinking, most profitable companies to understand this. However, there are still far too many instances where businesses get stuck; failing to move forward with change that in the long term can, in fact, optimise business. And in the process of being “stuck”, failing to attract or retain top-tier millennial talent.

3. Flexibility is non-negotiable 

Any business that who doesn’t offer flexibility will be hard-pressed to find quality talent. While COVID-19 has offered a “taster” for remote ways of working (albeit it forced), millennials now are unlikely to want to work for – or remain in – businesses where this isn’t offered.

Flexibility isn’t just important to millennials, it’s a factor that can potentially make or break their decision to stay put. While industry-specific limitations to remote ways of working will exist, allowing millennials to manage activities such as travel, parenting and spending time with family and friends while holding down a full-time job, is important.

4. Inclusivity and diversity matter

If you aren’t nourishing a culture that values inclusivity and diversity, then you should be. With progressive mindsets and equality-driven attitudes, millennials want to be working for a business that is tolerant and sensitive to the needs of their people. Whether it’s refraining from using gender-specific pronouns, recognising religious occasions, nurturing mental health or opening up doors to people that are unable to work in a traditional office environment through remote ways of working, there are simple ways to show you care – and that you, as a business, are worth working for.

Businesses who can understand and nurture these values will be able to build a progressive culture of millennials who are both comfortable and engaged. Bringing their best self – and work ethic – to your business.

Jacqueline Cripps, Management Consultant and CEO, JCL

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