Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are a unique generation. Unlike those that came before them, they’re not motivated by money. They seek out companies that they can believe in and the flexibility to work their way. They are focused, talented and are seeking a work/life balance in their lives.
If you’re having a hard time attracting and retaining Millennials, here are four ways to meet their needs and reap the benefits of their talents.
- Offer Flexibility – Millennials are mostly looking for flexibility in the workplace. They’re seeking a good work/life balance and value their happiness more than financial gain. They are technically proficient and device oriented, but seek an open, creative, social work environment. They don’t do well in cubicles. If a task is clearly delineated and has a deadline, they want the freedom to do it their way, in the style and location they choose. To keep them motivated, focus less on the clock and more on the final result to keep them motivated, productive and happy.
- The Want Personal and Professional Development – When it comes to their career, Millennials are looking for personal development even more than flexibility. They seek challenging assignments and are eager to move up…quickly. The average time on the job for Boomers is seven years, for Gen-Xers it’s five, but for Millennials it’s just two. They will not hesitate to change jobs if they feel they’re not receiving enough personal growth.
- Don’t Manage… Mentor! – Millennials aren’t interested in being managed as much as being mentored. The right balance gives them the freedom to express themselves and gives them the guidance and growth they seek. Studies have shown that Millennials who are mentored rather than simply managed have a 23 percent higher retention rate.
- Real Tangible Opportunities for Growth and Advancement – In the past advancement was driven by seniority. Everyone had to pay their dues. Millennials are seeking challenges and when they meet those challenges they want to be acknowledged and promoted. If they don’t feel their work is being recognized and helping them achieve advancement, they will get frustrated and look elsewhere.
If you want to attract and retain talented Millennials, find ways to reward their contribution, their talent and their successes. Adding additional titles or levels, and creating rotational assignments are just a few ways to structure momentum into their careers and keep them on your team.