The recession is officially behind us, and the outlook for young job seekers is improving. If you want your business to retain the best and the brightest, there are some changes you may need to consider to make it more appealing to millennial job seekers.
Every major business website, including this one, is chock full of articles criticizing them. Plenty has been written in their defense as well. But whatever you think of them, they now comprise approximately half of the U.S. workforce, so chances are, you're likely to see their resumes wind up in your inbox.
Hiring one of these young workers is the easy part — keeping them after you've hired them is the challenge. Here's how you can keep them on board and harness their unique traits to build a great team.
Bye bye, management
I believe that the traditional top-down management strategy simply doesn't work anymore, so I made everyone on my team a chief. Instead of being micro-managed, everyone on my team makes decisions and sees projects through from start to finish.
A staggering 95% of millennials agree with me. So it's not surprising that they'll work harder and get better results when they can follow their project through from idea to implementation, and see it make an impact.
Give them their freedom, and hold them accountable for their work. Anything less is grunt work, and at LexION Capital, we don't do that.
What's the point?
Every company's website has an "about" page, but very rarely is there anything there that explains why we should care. Your young employees want a reason to show up every day beyond just keeping their bills paid, and if they feel like your business isn't responding to a larger calling, they won't stick around.
The new generation overwhelmingly wants to "do well by doing good," and a company's mission is one of the biggest drivers behind their decision to stick with a job or look elsewhere. So as an entrepreneur, you should be building a culture that supports positive and constructive values.
If you don't know what to do, start with some baby steps. Have a monthly charity day, or make your office more environmentally friendly. It will give your employees a feeling that they're doing more than just clocking in, and who knows? It might give you a sense of purpose as well.
Communicate the right way
The vast majority of millennials prefer communicating digitally to speaking by phone. It makes sense, since they grew up with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and texting.
As a constantly occupied entrepreneur, I've found this to be a great thing. Instead of wasting time on the phone, I use task management systems to leave direct comments on an employee's project, and I can see what progress has been made and what steps are next.
None of this replaces old-fashioned, face-to-face communication, and that's not something you want to jettison anyway. Millennials value face time over Face Time, arguably even more so than the generations before them.
Meeting with employees individually isn't always an option either, so consider a single small, structured meeting once a day. This way, you can hash out issues face-to-face, and your whole team will appreciate that you saved "real" communication for when it counts.