If your organisation is using a one-size fits all approach to attract, engage and retain employees, it may not be getting the results it desires. This is particularly true if you’re recruiting millennials.
Millennials’ are the fastest growing demographic in the workforce and consist of workers currently aged 23-35 years old.
A report by PWC states that “attracting the best of these millennial workers is critical to the future of your business. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies with define the culture of the 21st century workplace.”
And despite the noise from those who believe that the uniqueness of millennials has been overstated, there is evidence that shows they have a profoundly different approach to work, life and how they fit together.
- They have been taught a postmodern worldview; a way of looking at the world that’s different to that of the ‘modern’ baby boomer generation and reflects the fact that much of the accepted thinking of that time has now been turned on it’s head.
- They have been brought up in a world where instant feedback is provided (think social media, gaming and technology)
- They have received reinforcement at school, home and in the community that they are ‘special’ and can do anything they want.
So what does this all mean for attracting, engaging and retaining millennials at work?
The report by PWC found that career progression is the top priority for millennials who have expectations they will rise swiftly through the organisation. If organisations don’t provide this, they can expect their millennials to move on to an organisation that can promise growth
In fact the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 66 percent of millennials planned to leave their current organisation by 2020.
Work-life balance is also highly important to millennials along with competitive salaries and benefits, excellent training and development programs, international assignment opportunities, an ethical corporate reputation, and company diversity reputation and practices.
Most of all, Professor Moore says that one of the biggest things for leaders to be aware of when managing millennials is that they expect frequent feedback – and lots of it.
How can HR most effectively manage millennials?
1. Add demographics into your metrics
Firstly, you need to understand your workforce. Build demographic information into your HR metrics and allow for your employee engagement surveys to be cut by age group
2. Develop millennial-focussed leadership programs
Leadership programs need to include insight on how to effectively manage each demographic. Leaders will need to understand how they can assist their millennials to achieve their professional goals and how to provide targeted, frequent and valuable feedback.
3. Show millennials their career path
Embed clear career paths in performance review processes and coach leaders in how to effectively have performance and coaching discussions. Investigate innovative ways to provide development opportunities to millennial employees as they are unlikely to wait around for traditional promotional opportunities.
4. Market your organisation’s core purpose
To attract millennials, you need to showcase your organisation’s purpose beyond making money. =It’s a point that’s been flogged to death, but that’s because it’s true. Millennials want to feel that they’re doing more each week than bringing home a paycheque. When marketing your company, think in terms of how the organisation is making the world a better place, include this in your employer value proposition – and show them how they could fit into and work towards that vision.
5. Promote diversity
Measure and promote diversity practices and performance within the organisation and include them in your employer value proposition when attracting candidates.
6. Build training into your employee’s job
Benchmark your training and development offering and provide programs focussed on key skills development in your learning and development strategy. Develop or utilise internal mentor programs to provide avenues for millennials to develop leadership skills.
In a tight market millennial employees are likely to stay longer but don’t expect them to be with you forever. Accepting – and planning for shorter tenures from millennials within your strategic workforce planning and talent pipelines will ensure that your expectations align from the moment they are hired, to their exit interview.