Published on January 20th, 2018 | by Nancy F. Clark0
How To Make Millennials Fall In Love With And Commit To A Job
By Christine Bailey—
Controversy rages around millennials at work; are they lazier, more distracted and disenchanted than previous generations? Yet research by the Conference Board indicates that millennial leaders are as hard-working, engaged and loyal as ever. In the U.S. millennials represent one-third of the population and their preferences will affect business for decades to come.
But what about millennials who aren’t yet leaders? A study of 42,000 people in 26 countries by Brunswick Insight found that, while the majority of millennials see business as being a force for good, they are less than happy with their business leaders, often seeing them as out of touch with real world challenges and the ability to relate to people.
Worse still, for the first time in many generations, millennials in the industrialized world are poorer than their predecessors. In the UK, millennials are half as wealthy as previous generations at the same age. In the US a 2015 article from The Atlantic, states millennials are, on average, “$2,000 poorer than their parents were at the same age,” and both less likely to have a job and more likely to live in poverty. This lack of trust and money, together with the increased mobility of millennials who are doing everything later in life — later to get married, have children, or buy a house — means that attrition across millennial employees is extremely high, particularly when they job-hop for higher salaries.
So how can organizations retain millennials long enough for them to become loyal, engaged, and effective leaders?
I spoke to Henry Rose Lee. She is the author of The Code for New Leaders, who specializes in working with millennials and emerging talent. The following are four proactive steps to make millennials fall in love and commit to a job.
1 Win Over Hearts And Minds From Day One
As with any newbie, on-boarding provides the best opportunity to give Millennials the culture, vision, purpose and corporate citizenship that gains their buy-in. As she explains “a longer, more detailed on-boarding process is a perfect opportunity to make millennials feel proud to work in your company and to see how what they do brings value to their team, the company and even the wider world.” What’s more, new research in HBR shows that companies with successful on-boarding programs are not just more likely to retain their new hires but even report measurable profit growth.
2 Organize “Experiences” At Work
Millennials are saving less than previous generations and spending their disposable income on experiences (holidays, sports, hobbies, leisure etc.). Henry suggests replicating experiences at work. “Find opportunities to run creative team and company events, summits, hackathons, kick-starts, and end-of-project, what-have-we-learned events” which boost community and belonging and bring a sense of excitement and fun.”
3 Provide Regular Learning And Feedback
All research on millennials agrees that they want lots of feedback and learning.
Set up mentorships and coaching opportunities and give them as much training as your company can afford. And don’t forget millennials delivering learning too, which increases their sense of value and self-esteem. As Henry explains, “reverse mentoring is where millennials are paired with older employees and they mentor them on topics such as social media, digital trends and new technologies.”
4 Make Communications Relevant
Leaders may moan that their younger workers don’t read their newsletters or answer corporate communications via email, but millennials now often use their phones for information and news. So deliver communications and updates with visually creative, exciting information via apps and blogs which suit the sense of fun and immediacy most millennials prefer.
Ignoring the tougher environment millennials work in — or simply waiting until they become leaders — is not an option.
The benefits are huge: a new generation of conscientious, committed and motivated workers who bring all their passion, energy and talent to creating a brave new world.
Dr. Christine Bailey is honored to be a Top 10 Influential Woman B2B Martech. Find her on Twitter @christinebailey.
I’m Nancy F. Clark, author of The Positive Journal, CEO of PositivityDaily and curator of Forbes WomensMedia. My team helps businesswomen succeed and live happier and more fulfilling lives.
Article photo by iStock-izusek