In 2015, the millennial is reaching his stride. Defined as those between 18 to 34 years of age, millennials are now the largest generation in the modern workforce. Tech-savvy, job-hopping millennials are making their stamp across all industries, and employers are keen to hire them because of their prevalence and unique skill sets. But it’s no secret that millennials are often hard to attract and even more difficult to retain. So to help you out, here are a few tips for achieving the right environment to draw in – and keep – millennials on your team.
Yes, your jaw didn’t drop over this tip. But while business owners all claim to know that everything digital dominates in today’s world, many still are lagging in adopting the technology they should. When it comes to millennials, jumping headfirst into emerging tech isn’t a question; it’s just what they do. You can appeal to this digital-hungry group by focusing your time and resources on upgrading your brand’s online presence. After that, be sure your day-to-day environment is infused with helpful technology. For instance, try out the latest instant messaging services to keep collaboration strong and interoffice chatting at a peak. Technology and mobile connectivity are of utmost importance to millennials, so offer employees the chance to use tools like project management systems like Basecamp and productivity apps such as Harvest to manage their tasks and work with others.
Sometimes millennials get a bad reputation for being self-centered (selfies, anyone?). But the truth is that this age group really seeks out the mission behind what they do. Over 75 percent of this generation believes that businesses are focused on their own agendas instead of helping society, which causes them to become cynical and feel like their work may be for naught. You can counteract this by highlighting your company’s purpose, philanthropic ties and overall vision. Make the meaning of your work a constant theme that is woven into company meetings, internal collateral and individual goals. This will help to incentivize millennials and make them feel like they’re contributing to the greater good.
There was a time when working from home or telecommuting to a meeting seemed lazy. But with today’s technological capabilities, these alternate methods of engaging with your place of work are both generally accepted by employers and valued by employees. You may not want an entirely remote workforce, but think about what you can offer to your team. After all, almost 80 percent of millennials have said they would consider quitting their jobs to work for themselves because the draw of flexibility is so great. Shift the mentality at your company to encourage employees to work toward achieving objectives, rather than clocking in a specific amount of time. You’ll see more productivity and more loyalty by creating a flexible environment.
Finally, millennials may not have earned the selfish brush they’re often painted with, but they still do have personal hopes and dreams they hold dear. Even though times have changed, many of these goals are not much different than those of generations past: financial security, room to grow and a competitive salary to enable to pursue their goals all top the list.
As the most educated generation, these individuals also want information and challenges. Find out what matters most to each of your employees and see how your company can play a role in fostering that. If someone really treasures the idea of growing into a management position, pay for her to attend a course on management. If the only thing standing between you hiring a stellar sales guy is a gap in what he wants to earn and what you’re willing to pay, double check that your offer is truly competitive. You may need to make small concessions on your part, but if you devote yourself to stoking the fires within your team, you’ll find yourself with far more satisfied staff.
As you seek to attract and retain millennials, it’s important to remember how they differ from older generations. But also remember that they are still people with wants, needs and goals. Incorporate technology into your environment, accentuate the mission of your brand, amp up your flexibility and appeal to your employees’ deepest desires. This will help you catch – and keep – members of this powerful generation within the walls of your company.
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