3 Tips for Managing Your Millennials

Millennials have quickly become an integral part of today’s job market. The average member of Generation Y is around twenty-five years of age, and they are beginning to outnumber other generations in America’s workforce. With predictions showing millennials making up at least 75% of the workforce by the year 2030, companies are realizing that they need to learn how to engage these crucial employees. Unlike previous generations, the average millennial changes jobs every two years, and most employers are not prepared for this kind of turnover.

With this being the reality, experts are starting to argue that it’s time for the older generations, especially Generation X (those aged mid-30s to late-40s), to stop labeling millennials as flaky or wishy-washy, and instead start mentoring and teaching these young workers. With a new generation comes a new set of ideals and objectives, and one of the major differences that is starting to emerge is a “job hopping” phenomenon, one that has never been seen before. Based on circumstances such as recent recessions and innovations in technology, today’s job market has to be forward-thinking and adaptable. On the flip side, this presents new job opportunities for millennials on a daily basis—opportunities that are becoming harder and harder to turn down.
With this being a known problem, it’s in every organization’s interest to learn how to attract, motivate, and retain these millennials. But, before employers can know what it takes to keep these millennials engaged in the workplace, they first need to know more about common traits of millennial workers. Over the years, it has come to the point where the different generations in the workplace have begun speaking different languages, and if there is any hope for the generations to unite as one, they need to be on the same team, speaking the same language.

Attributes of the Typical Millennial

* Tech-savvy
* Experts at social media
* Skilled multi-taskers
* Collaboration-oriented
* Expert communicators
* Family-oriented

To retain millennials for longer than the standard two years, companies need to identify specific engagement tactics. Along with wanting the expected pay increase, millennials typically have many other reasons for bouncing from job to job. Within the 18- to 30-year age brackets, the common move has been for workers to spread themselves wide, learn a lot of skills, and explore the different options available to them. This leads them to the “best fit” scenario, which previous generations have not usually considered as a need to have. Millennials are an ambitious group, and with job markets developing, job change and turnover has become a commonality that is hurting employers.

What should be done to combat millennial job hopping? Here are a few tips for keeping millennials engaged in the workforce:

1. Give millennials what they expect.

Everyone wants to feel welcome when starting a new job, and millennials are no exception. How can you as an employer “roll out the red carpet” for these workers? Another thing that all millennials are looking for is the ability to make a difference, and to be a part of something new and exciting. This is one reason why start-ups have become popular career destinations for millennials. Catering to millennials’ desires to feel needed and feel like they are making a difference can keep them interested enough to want to stay and do more.

2. Pay attention to professional development.

Training and skill development are crucial to keeping employees happy, and millennials are no exception. Fostering their skills and knowledge allows millennials to grow and advance in their careers, which entices them to stick around longer. After all, one reason for job hopping is lack of job knowledge, or a desire to add skills to a resume. If you can give millennials the chance to build their resume and stay at your company, you’ll succeed on two fronts, and engage them from day one.

3. Don’t forget your workplace environment.

Everyone wants to work at Google, with its nap rooms, sprawling campus, and other intriguing features. Millennials want these workplace features too. When it comes to retaining millennials, it’s important to have a warm and friendly workplace. This newest generation of employees is looking for flexible schedules and workplaces, telecommuting options, better vacation options, and the ability to voice their opinions. A company with an open door policy is a company that will do well in the long run. Communication is key, and good conversations between employers and employees means good workplace environments. This combination will help you retain millennials, and decrease their motivation to leave in search of something new.

As millennials start to take over the job force, job hopping is going to become the social norm as opposed to an exception. To keep millennials engaged, companies needs to find a way convince them that staying will benefit their resume and employment options, and lead to growth and development along the way.

_Sources: HRAnswerLink, Forbes.com, Forbes.com