With an ever increasing growth in the composition of millennials in the workforce, understanding their needs and applying strategies for their retention has become extremely critical. Employee engagement is, after all, a real world problem.
So many millennials have quit their jobs that the statistics are shocking. 21% of millennial workers had left their jobs in the last year to do something else. Employee engagement means more to this biggest job hopping generation, as compared to the baby boomers. Millennials want to be engaged in their jobs which means they want to feel a sense of profound connection to the work that they are doing. This has to come along with high levels of well-being and a healthy work-life balance.
Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Given this generation owes a fair share of the total workforce population; organizations need to find what is it that they want in order to have a truly enriching employee experience. Here are some of the things employers can do to ensure they do not suffer from such statistics.
Relook at your recruitment process
The biggest of brands get thousands of application on a daily basis for various positions. Most of them go unnoticed, tracking back to spam emails. But one bad experience might mean companies losing out on great talent for the future. Candidates do not want to go through grueling levels of selection, only to not even get notified about the results. This is why companies are thinking more on how to create market experiences for employees, throughout their application process.
The presence of online employer review sites such as Glassdoor has increased transparency of company culture and hiring tactics at a global level. Nearly 66% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience and 72% of them have shared their experience Glassdoor. This is why companies have started focusing on notifying candidates from time to time who apply for a job so that they do not feel discouraged or be urged to give a bad review.
Say yes to the gig economy
The world is moving towards a gig economy as the Freelancer’s Union predicts that at least 40% of the workforce will be freelancers in the next few years. One of the major reasons why millennials quit their jobs is the lack of flexibility. They want to be a part of a gig economy which means having the freedom to work from anywhere and harness the power of technology to interact and communicate. They prefer using mobile devices to stay updated and connected to their peers.
This is the new reality because of which 93% of companies already identify the blended workforce as they’re seeing freelance workers teaming up with employees to work on projects together. This means organizations should no longer impose strict regulations when it comes to office timings or work schedules and open up to a remote workforce.
Ensure continuous feedback and mentoring
Another critical transition that is required is performance management becoming an ongoing and continuous process in organizations. Managers will play a critical role in achieving that as their interaction and contribution is key to making continuous performance reviews a success. 54% of millennials have reported having frequently felt that their manager is unprepared to give feedback during performance reviews. Such a system will not work anymore as feedback is key to millennials. They want to know how they are performing and what is needed for improvement. Hence, performance reviews need to move from being a once in a year event to regular review meetings, pulse surveys and the like. Managers also need to be held accountable for their contribution in bringing about behavioral changes in millennial employees.
A traditional system like annual reviews and ranks will definitely not work for millennials. They want to know how they are performing and what is needed for improvement. Hence, performance reviews need to move from being a once in a year event to 360-degree reviews, pulse surveys and the like. Managers also need to be held accountable for their contribution in bringing about behavioral changes in millennial employees. They need to be given the opportunities to be able to contribute to the professional development of their subordinates and give it a personal angle.
Give emphasis to overall employee wellness
There is a massive rise in the use of wellness programs in companies to lower absenteeism, attract talent and save on health care costs. Fewer than half of American workers say that their company supports employee well being and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Workplace stress has increased which has led to a massive decrease in employee engagement and motivation levels.
This is why companies need to implement ways to eradicate the massive rise in workplace stress and invest in creating a holistic work experience which helps employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. To create an enriching employee experience, strategies need to start right from onboarding the new hire to exit interviews. Everything that impacts the daily life of the employees, within and outside the workplace should be thought of well and help enable a positive impact.
Offer avenues for continuous learning
The millennials want to grow continuously in their professional career and they want to be involved in organizations which understand this aspiration of theirs. 87% of millennials say development is important in a job. Career growth is the biggest contributor to higher retention levels for this generation.
With the massive rise in the manufacture and use of mobile devices and the internet, knowledge can be accessed at the click of a button. Millennials want to be actively learning and on-demand training and access to a pool of rich content are what can keep them satisfied. Training delivered across mediums and devices, along with flexible learning opportunities can give them the assurance that their organizations deeply cares for their professional development and contribute to employee engagement.
As millennials enter the workforce, they have certain expectations as they are educated, well aware and technology savvy and full of choices. It will be interesting to see how organizations strategize their employee engagement and make it suitable for the millennials.