Retaining Millennials: 4 Tips for Employers

retaining millennials: 4 tips for employersMillennials have long been pigeonholed as the "difficult" generation, and that bias is coming back to haunt companies. Millennials are more likely to have innovative ideas, improve employee engagement, and excel at new tasks, but unless a company works on retention, they are just as likely to put in their notice tomorrow. Businesses are finding that retaining millennials takes a whole new game plan. If you're ready to embrace Generation Y, focus on these tips for retaining millennials in your workplace. 

Focus on Strengths

Many employers shy away from engaging their millennial staff because they are a completely different breed of worker. Companies think of them as the "Generation of Entitlement" and millennials end up feeling ostracized and judged, seeking younger and more innovative workplaces or bouncing around from job to job searching for fulfillment. It's time to stop the negativity when talking about millennials and embrace their unique set of needs. Educate management on how to engage millennial workers and make it positive. Focus on the strengths of the millennial workforce to help other generational workers understand and encourage the benefits of retaining millennial staff. 

Provide Advancement

Millennials aren't job-hopping because it's fun. They leave jobs because they want better opportunities and more knowledge. When they find themselves in a stagnant job situation, they find something new. While it may be difficult to add rungs to the corporate ladder, fear not because many millennials value education and new job responsibilities just as much as promotions. Offer additional training to employees and cross-training opportunities. Have managers sit down with all staff members to determine what drives them to succeed in their work. Then, come up with a plan for each employee to advance in their own specific way. 

Make it a Fun

When asked how millennials define success, the number one answer was "having a job you enjoy."  The millennial workforce wants satisfaction in their entire life, from social obligations to job obligations. They want to look forward to going into work for the day. To that end, work on initiatives that engage your workforce and provide a more inviting workplace environment. Lunch yoga sessions or breakout meetings across different departments to improve workflow can provide more social aspects to the workday while still focusing on company improvement. Making the workplace a fun and engaging space for millennial employees keeps them satisfied, engaged, and employed. 

Bring Generations Together

It's not just company bias that can drive off a millennial worker, it can be also be their co-workers. Often, older co-workers see millennials as entitled, lazy, and always looking for shortcuts. In reality, millennials understand that working harder isn't always smarter and are willing to look outside the box for new solutions to old problems that require less work. To help intergenerational relationships in your workplace, a mentorship program can help retain and engage both generations. Pairing a seasoned veteran with a younger employee provides two-way mentorship, with the older employee helping the younger plan a career track and the younger helping the older embrace new technology and solutions. By making the workplace more harmonious with better communication, employees can retain millennials while helping older generations embrace their new co-workers. 

Just like every generation, it takes employers some time to adjust to the wants and needs of their newest workers. The wide gap in values between this workforce and the last have unfortunately resulted in some companies running their newest workers off. Don't fall into the trap of building a revolving door for millennial workers. Instead, use these four tips to keep them employed and engaged in your company.