Millennials are taking over the workforce.
“More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.”
“This milestone occurred in the first quarter of 2015, as the 53.5 million-strong Millennial workforce has risen rapidly. The Millennial labor force had last year surpassed that of the Baby Boom, which has declined as Boomers retire.”
How can you tap into the potential of young talent? More importantly, do you have what it takes to keep them engaged and happy in the workplace?
May the ‘Millennial’ force be with you
Growing up during the boom of internet and technology, in the middle of one of the world’s largest financial crises, impacted by the start of globalization, Millennials grew to be very different from generations before them.
In short, Millennials (in general) aren’t loyal and who can blame them for becoming a job-hopping generation. Studies suggest:
Millennials most likely generation to switch jobs
Six in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities
Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workplace
Millennials stay at a job for an average of three years.
For these reasons, employee retention has been an ongoing problem for startups, small businesses and large enterprise companies. One waylook more closely at their needs and wants.
Offer work-life harmony opportunities
Millennials probably have more student debt than their parents did, but surprisingly, when it comes to choosing a job, money isn’t the biggest concern for them.
Like other generations, Millennials want a steady salary, with a job that can fund their lifestyles, but they also value their social life and would gladly take less pay for an undemanding job.
Companies who are able to give Millennials the luxury of time in the form of flexible hours or even Friday half-days earn double points for young workers. Other ways you can give millennials their much needed work-life harmony include:
Offer a work from home option
Not all companies can provide this option, but in the tech industry where work is often web-based, working at home makes sense if you don’t mind managing remote employees. Not only will this save time and money on their commutes, you can also save on company costs in the long run.
Focus more on results, not hours worked
Productivity should be measured by the outcome, not simply on the hours worked by your employees. Incorporating this mindset will have a great impact on your company culture and the engagement and performance of Millennials.
Organize team events
Sponsor and organize a trip or party with your employees. This is one of the best ways to build team spirit and also inject a little fun in their lives.
Highlight creative employee perks
If you want to retain and attract millennials, you may have to be a little more creative with workplace perks. Certain perks – that would never have been demanded by older generations – such as travel perks, free food, and wellness programs are some of the benefits that appeal to Millennials. Other creative perks you can try also include:
Offer child and/or pet care
Show that you care by helping your employees care for their loved ones. Many companies include useful perks like paid maternity/paternity leave, baby or pet sitting, concierge services and even pet insurance for Fido.
Create nap rooms
When coffee can’t take drowsiness away it’s time to give yourself (and your team) a little nap. Many creative offices come equipped with nap rooms for employees.
Install game rooms
Lighten up your office by including spaces for fun. Google for example, has its own bowling alley, and recreational room for employees. Yahoo has its own on-site gym, volleyball and basketball courts.
Reward Millennial employees
Most employees who walk out and resign from a company are those who don’t feel they are fairly compensated for the work they do. But it’s also worth noting that not all compensation is monetary. There are many other ways to reward Millennials and help them to feel valued in the workplace.
Have encouraging conversations
Praise employees for their hard work. Be a motivator and highlight their contributions to the company.
Share surprise rewards
This can be as simple as free group lunches, or a shortened workday. When the team does a good job for the week you can even take them out and pay for the movies. Little unexpected rewards like these help your employees feel valued.
Give them opportunities to grow
Show your appreciation by giving them opportunities to grow and learn more even while on the job. Encourage them to improve their skills, and make it possible for them to do so by hosting free training or sharing the burden of their tuition.
How do you help Millennial employees thrive at your company? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article has been edited.
Armela Escalona is a millennial writer and journalist contributing to various online publications. Her experience ranges from technology and business news to entertainment and lifestyle articles. When not writing, Armela spends her time playing chess, scrabble, or watching history documentaries. Connect with @armelae on Twitter.