Until very recently, nobody wanted to hire Millennials because they were stigmatized as being lazy social media 'brats' who didn't understand the value of hard work. While companies are beginning to evolve and recognize their value, executives are faced with a new challenge - how to stop them from quitting.
Deloitte's 2016 global Millennials survey, which reached out to 7,700 Millennials in 29 countries, found that a staggering two-thirds of them plan to leave their current organization by 2020.
With 83 million members, Generation Y now already makes up the largest sector of the U.S. population, and by 2025, they will make up 75 percent of the workforce. If companies can't figure out how to adjust their corporate goals and culture to attract and retain Millennials, they will have enormous difficulty competing in an economy that is increasingly global, mobile and social.
As the CEO of Peak Sales Recruiting, we have seen world-class clients invest substantial time and resources to appeal to Millennials.
Here are the top 5 ways to keep Millennials from leaving your company.
1. Empathize With the Quarter-Life Crisis, Crack the Whip Less
There is an argument that this may be the first American generation worse off than its predecessor. The financial crisis, crippling student loans and lack of job growth means many Millennials are living at home, financially insecure and getting married later. In fact, The Council of Economic Advisers conducted a survey and found that only 30 percent of 20-34 year olds were married in 2013 in comparison to 77 percent in 1960. The quarter-life crisis is real. While the economy continues its resurgence, many companies are still unable to offer huge pay increases. That is why it is absolutely critical to crack the whip less and encourage empathy across the organization. Demanding hard work and stellar results remains essential, however, the days of allowing bosses to mistreat their direct reports are over. Put processes in place to help each employee map out and realize their career goals. Put them in positions to grow and give them every tool to succeed. Communicating this to Millennials is essential to retain them.
2. Soften On "Showing Face" and Be Flexible on Working Remotely
Being chained to a desk frightens Millennials. A study with oDesk revealed that 92 percent of Millennials prefer to work from home and 87 percent want to choose their own work hours, instead of the traditional 9 to 5. Many top companies now offer flexible policies to work from home. This does not allow them to skirt their responsibilities - in fact, Gallup reported that remote workers log more hours and are slightly more engaged than those who work on-site. The age-old corporate America practice of sitting around late just to "show face" is antiquated. Nowadays, employees likely have half a dozen devices on their person and at home that can allow them to get the job done.
3. Develop Programs to Let Them Lead
According to the aforementioned Deloitte survey, 71 percent of those likely to leave in the next two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed. Moreover, in a PwC survey, Millennials indicated "opportunities for career progression" as the number one factor that makes an organization an attractive employer. We are not suggesting you hand over your most crucial client to someone with three years of experience, but create programs to develop their leadership skills. Offer them areas of the business to "own," give them small teams to lead and offer in-house professional development courses or encourage them to join leading industry organizations.
4. Offer Incentives for Higher Education
Millennials are the most educated group in American history. Graduate degrees and a thirst for learning is important to them. In fact, The Council of Economic Advisers found that Millennials are more likely to attend graduate school than previous generations with a 35 percent increase in enrollment from 1995 to 2010. By offering some form of tuition incentives, your company will become an extremely attractive destination. Additionally, you will encourage your employees to become better educated and equipped to drive your company into the future.
5. Don't Just Talk the Talk on Diversity, Mean It
Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in the U.S. - made up of 42 percent minorities and more women working than any other generation. Most organizations now talk about being diverse, but Millennials will see through empty rhetoric. Become a respected leader in this area, promote it during your recruiting, and you will be able to hire from a much larger talent base and retain the best-of-the-best.