Maintaining Employees in the Millennial Generation
With the economy strong and the unemployment rate at a 50 year low, businesses are having challenges attracting/retaining top talent. In addition, the benefits that mattered 20 years ago may no longer seem as attractive to a workforce that is seeing a generational shift. In the last couple years, millennials have taken over as the largest population in the workforce as baby boomers and Gen X-ers are starting to retire. In the coming years, companies must start to identify unique ways to attract and retain the top talent in the millennial generation. The companies that can do this will be more likely to succeed and flourish in the next several decades.
Flexibility, purposeful or meaningful work, professional development, and social involvement are some of the most common benefits desired by the millennial generation. Large companies and tech companies have started to create some trendy but often high cost options to try to retain the best talent. However, due to the cost of some of those benefits, many small business cannot compete with Facebooks and Googles of the world. However, below are some lower cost ideas to help retain and attract talented millennials that work.
Paid Service Time Off for Sick Time Off: For companies that offer sick time, one idea is to allow employees to use up to 40 hours of unused sick time for service time at a 401(c) 3 organization. Not only is this good for your brand, but you are also encouraging your employees to serve their local communities.
Frequent Employer Sponsored Social Events: A second idea is to have a consistent rhythm of social events. For example, once a year do an employee retreat (at least two days), twice a year do a full day social/service event, quarterly do a half day event, and at least bi-monthly do some type of social lunch or happy hour. These types of social rhythms cost minimal time away from work for employees, pay dividends to the morale of your employees, and can be scaled to accommodate any business size or budget.
Invest and build into your employees: Many small businesses are scared to invest or build into their up-and-coming employees for fear of losing them. However, the more you invest in your employees the less likely they are to leave. Even if they do leave after investing significant time, enjoy the satisfaction in watching them succeed. Plan and budget for employee professional development. To maximize your results, let your employee take ownership in planning their yearly professional development. Take the time to ask your employees what their goals are and what they enjoy doing, so you can work together to help them achieve their professional/personal goals and do more of the work they enjoy.
Make Purpose and Meaning a part of your Brand: Purpose and meaningful work consistently rank high in polls looking at what millennials care about most in their work. Make this a part of your brand as a company.
Flexibility: Flexibility is likely the most highly ranked benefit that the millennial generation is seeking when looking at companies. With technology the way it is today, companies have no excuse for not offering some type of flexible arrangement for work. This doesn’t mean the flexibility doesn’t come with responsibility. It should be viewed as a privilege and not a right. However, offering flex hours and work from home options is highly desirable among millennials especially that have young children and where both parents work full time.
For more questions and ideas Doss Business Consulting is there to help.