Millennial employees - why you need them

7 ways to retain millennials that will benefit the whole team

Much of what we hear about the ‘Millennial mindset’ is not flattering. There’s a perception that they’re entitled, avocado-smashing, job-hoppers wanting life-work balance (not the other way around).

Painting 35% of the workforce in this light (over 50 per cent by 2025) is both unfair and pointless. It’s also pessimistic and fails to recognise the exciting and unique skills and attributes millennials bring to the workforce.

Here are seven ways to engage Millennials that will benefit everyone at work:

1. Make the workplace supportive and autonomous.
You don’t need a Nintendo Wii, but you do need to create a culture where the team support each other. This means open-door policies, encouraging collaboration and innovation, and allowing people to self-manage.

Set goals and deadlines for projects, but encourage your team to decide how they accomplish their mission. Adopt an abundance mindset and have faith that your team have got this! This will encourage everyone to show initiative and step up.

2. Create a culture of learning.
Lack of training and development has been cited as the top reason Millennials search for new jobs. It’s cheaper now with online learning platforms, online mentoring, and of course the more traditional workshops and courses (many of which can be partially funded by government grants). Paying to upskill your team is typically a sound business investment, it’s also an opportunity for you to delegate more tasks!

3. Utilise their digital literacy.
Millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips. They bring with them knowledge and experience using some of the newest and most exciting software. They’ll likely know of a number of apps to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and manage risk. Allow them to teach older team members a better way of doing things.

4. Praise high performance.
Millennials are used to getting praise, they grew up with participation certificates and trophies for trying. Recognise your team members when they're performing well. Praise leads to engagement and empowerment. If you don’t praise your team, it’s likely most of your interactions will be negative in nature, which is not great for culture.

5. Share information.
Transparent leaders empower their teams. While some information may be too sensitive to disclose, your vision and goals should be clearly and frequently communicated. This builds a sense of ownership for everyone; sharing your goals and aligning your team's individual goals with the business's vision will make your team feel that they're contributing to something bigger than themselves and have a valued role in the business.

6. Be flexible.
Everyone wants the ability to choose how and when they’ll work. Ask your team what their ideal working arrangement would look like. You can only be as flexible as makes sense for your business, but give your team the opportunity to express how they would like to work. Would they like to work four ten-hour days? Can they work remotely some days? These arrangements don’t just appeal to Millennials, they appeal to anyone with a life outside work.

7. Put your purpose before profit.
Millennials want to stand for something. Clarifying your business's purpose or ‘why’ - that is why you exist for your customers - will help engage everyone in their role and build loyalty.

Studies show that businesses who put their purpose before their profit end up outperforming others on profit anyway. Having a clear purpose helps you differentiate your business from competitors and attract more suitable customers and team members who will be loyal to your brand and openly advocate for you.

Thinking like a Millennial isn’t just about keeping top young talent happy - it’s about recruiting and retaining talent of any generation.

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