Millennial Workers: Practical Advice for Employers

millennial workersMillennials are currently the largest workforce in most businesses, and we need good HR & Recruitment strategies in place to ensure we can not only attract but also retain and engage Generation Y. The Millennial Majority Workforce study indicates that 53% of hiring managers find recruiting and retaining millennials difficult. This, coupled with the fact that 58% of millennials expect to leave their jobs in 3 years or less, ultimately results in losses for us, the employers.

The following are some practical tips that will help you get your head around millennials in the workforce and will hopefully enable you to form a good plan of action:

1)  Understanding Generation Y

Resolution Foundation report found that Generation Y is most incentivised by reward and praise (41%).  However, a competitive reward system is simply not enough. Millennials are tech savvy, creative, flexible, highly educated, open to change and very adaptable. Changing employers to better suit personal and career goals is a normality. It is important to offer career advancement opportunities and to communicate your company’s values and a clear brand message. This will not only attract the right people but will increase job satisfaction and retention. For many millennials it is essential that their personal values intertwine with the company’s values, that their work makes a difference and that their input is sought and valued.  In other words, they need to have a purpose.

2)  Attracting the Right People

It is important that you advertise on the right platform. Examples of these platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, websites, industry specific groups and platforms, etc. In the recruitment process your biggest advantage is your company’s brand and values. Millennials are a lot more environmental, political and community conscious, so company ethics as well as values will impact their final decision.

3)  How to Keep Job Satisfaction High

Competitive rewards won’t work alone; they must be combined with regular feedback, continuous learning & professional development, open communication, training initiatives, career advancement,   flexible working hours and good work-life balance. The majority of millennials deem personal development as the most influential factor in their current job/job search.  It’s your job to ensure that your workforce is engaged, and if there is no budget in place you will have to improvise. You can develop mentor initiatives (on the job training).  This, combined with regular feedback, recognition and career advancement will go a long way.  Perks are also important, allowing your employees to work from home, take a half day or even to volunteer can make all the difference and costs the business next to nothing.

We all know that our workforce is our competitive advantage, so nurture your employees and your business will flourish. It is vital that we embrace our employees for who they are, capitalise on and develop their skills, and not trample them to suit the norm. Open communication will ensure that managers stay in touch with employees’ reality.  Instead of being scared of millennials, sit down and talk to them. They will tell you exactly what they want and once they know what you want from them, they will tell you exactly how they will achieve it. The workplace is changing, and we must embrace change if we want our businesses to succeed.

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