It’s no secret that the newest generation of workers has a unique set of needs, desires and expectations for their careers. Although you may be hesitant to cater to the high maintenance demands of Generation Y, please consider their imminent value within your business. As current baby boomers retire, many organizations will face a shortage of qualified and talented employees. While the Graduate Retention Program at the Chamber works diligently to connect young people to internships that help prepare them for the “real world,” your organization holds the challenging responsibility of retaining these employees once they have been hired. If you want to retain young talent in your organization, consider the following tips for both attracting and keeping your new recruits.
Be progressive. As “the technology generation,” Millennials crave advancement. They earnestly plan for the future, which may manifest as proposed policy updates, new marketing strategies or even radical ideas. If you want them to be satisfied in your organization, ensure an environment that both facilitates and welcomes progress.
Create an enticing culture. With the world at their fingertips, many Millennials have “seen it all” and, therefore, bore easily. Routine tasks can be tedious for them. If you want to retain young talent, create an environment they want to keep coming back to day after day. Provide social opportunities both during and after work, think outside of the box for policies and offerings and allow your employees to have fun whenever possible. Don’t underestimate the power of a pinball machine, DVD library or a putting green in the break room.
Be open. Many Millennials were raised by parents who treated them as equals; therefore, young employees tend to assume that this same casual relationship exists in every aspect of their lives. Sometimes this may come across as disrespectful or arrogant at work, but know that what Millennials really desire is ease of communication. To make young employees comfortable, foster an environment that allows them to be open with you and their other coworkers. Be open to change, diversity and new ideas in the workplace.
Take them seriously. If a young employee approaches you with a proposal for an espresso machine in the break room, don’t discount the idea. When your interns confront you about a situation with another employee, listen to their concerns. Consideration may seem like common sense, but many young employees sometimes feel left out, disrespected or unimportant because of their age or inexperience. Try pushing their limits, giving them increased responsibilities and asking their opinions on projects. You may be surprised by what they show you.
Be passionate. I heard about a study recently that revealed an interesting characteristic of the Millennial generation; many Millennials feel incapable of separating their work life from their personal life, yet they prefer that connection. Young workers want to be so energized and inspired by their career that they live it. Be contagiously passionate about your organization’s mission and your employees will follow your example.