You have found your perfect new hire. In the beginning, things are going great - they are connecting with the company and exploring new challenges. Within a few years, they unexpectedly switch to another job, leaving your company shocked and confused. Millennials are known for being job hoppers. There are even statistics to suggest they've earned this reputation (91% of Millenials expect to switch jobs within 3 years).
As a young professional, I witnessed my friends quickly job hopping from one company to another. One of my friends is on his 3rd job and only started working in 2013. While another two of my friends are on their 2nd jobs, both of them entered the workforce in 2015. Personally, I've seen both my parents continue to work for companies that they hate working for; however both are unwilling to change jobs or even look for another job. Looking toward the future, I do not want to end up like them.
When an employee leaves the company, it costs the company more than you might expect. There are recruitment costs, training costs, and the considerable they'll need to devote to fill an empty position. Keeping procurement talent within the company is important. Here are some tips on how to retain millennials from a millennial perspective:
Millennials are always look for growth and development. While evaluating a job, I am always asking about mentorship, career development, and training opportunities. Many young professionals reported that they are even willing to take less pay for jobs that will encourage growth and development. Webinars and online courses are excellent ways to expand their skill sets and satisfy their desire for career development opportunities. However let's also look some options that has little cost.
While investing in courses is always a plus, there are other way to encourage career development without occurring any cost. Feedback is an excellent way for growth and development. Feedback can range from how to do things more efficiently to critical thinking on how to process a problem. Having frequent discussions with millennial workers about feedback and make a big difference on deciding to stay with a company or leave.
Another way to challenge millennials to grow is to assigning projects slightly out of their comfort level. Challenging projects gives them an opportunity to think more about the issue and/or increase their skill set. However it is important to not assign projects out of their skill set range, so finding the proper balance can be difficult. In the past, I have asked for projects with certain skills so I could get the experience and learn more about the topic.
There are actually two parts to this. One, show appreciation and the impact of the millennial's work. Millennials want to know that their work is actually making a difference and is not something to keep them busy. A simple "Thank you" or "Excellent work" can go a long way. At my second job (a poker dealer), one of the supervisors comes by and gives little words of encouragement. Many of my co-workers has described this particular supervisor as their favorite supervisor.
The second part of meaningful work is social causes. Often at the casino, I hear my co-workers expression that they do not like how meaningless their jobs are. While most companies are for profit, there are still ways to create their impact. Companies can organize food drives or fundraisers. One creative fundraiser I saw included casual Fridays - where employees can donate $20 per month to wear casual outfits on Friday. This fundraiser has little impact on the business and was easy to implement.
Many millennials will choose a flexible schedule over pay. Technology has allows us to work from anywhere at anytime. Since we grew up with technology, millennials want to take advantage of it. While remotely working employees raises new challenges, according to Harvard Business Review it raises productivity and happiness.
If remotely working employees is not possible, even given the scheduling flexibility may be enough to sway a millennial worker. We prefer to work on a schedule that fit us - instead of the traditional 9 to 5.
What could companies lose if they neglect to take these steps? Quite a lot. A study by the Center for American Progress reported on average it takes 20% of annual salary to replace a mid-range position - this does not even include the opportunity cost. So implementing the low cost solutions will save the company money and more importantly time and talent.