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3 Shocking Statistics About Your Millennial Workforce and How to Mitigate Them

Written By: Lauren Antone, HCM Cloud Associate Product Marketing Manager at Oracle

How to effectively manage your talent continues to be a hot topic discussed and explored by organizations. By now companies are familiar with the popular buzz-phrase, "employee engagement." Organizations understand the importance of defining their workplace culture and hiring the right talent with key skills and personal goals that align with those of the company. They are even taking that extra step and investing in their employees’ experience, because employee satisfaction is the key to increasing employee engagement, retention, and productivity, right?

And yet, here are three shocking statistics you need to know about your workforce:

While workplace culture and employee satisfaction are critical components to engagement, there is still a disconnect between employees and their workplace.

Where is the millennial voice in this conversation?

As a millennial working in Silicon Valley and human resources software, I've seen firsthand how companies struggle with effective talent management within their organizations. For Bay Area companies, the competition to attract and retain talent is fierce—especially when your competitors offer everything under the sun to get talent through their door. I've witnessed my peers recruited to companies by attractive work perks and a laid-back culture, promising work-life balance and fun! For a while this works. Who doesn’t love free meals, working remotely, and taking a break with furry office friends? However, despite these attractive incentives, these same peers never stay longer than a year or two.

So, what gives?

This is because employee satisfaction does not guarantee engagement, and your disengaged employees are already looking for their next career move. Millennials are among the lowest percentage of engaged employees, and from this we've gotten a bad rap. We are often stereotyped as impatient, selfish, and disloyal job-hoppers. Truthfully, job-hopping has become the norm for the rapidly growing millennial workforce, and according to a LinkedIn survey, it's nearly doubled in frequency over the last 20 years. But what our "disloyalty" reveals is that our professional needs are not being met.

There is a misalignment between organizations’ perceptions of what millennials value and what we actually value that is perpetuating this behavior.

So, without further ado, here it is: Everything your company needs to know about what your millennial workers really want and how to engage us, shared directly from a millennial herself. 

Millennials want a defined career path with advancement opportunities.

If a company can't provide this, it’s already lost us.

Future career opportunity is one of the top three global drivers of attrition. Millennials highly value a job that will accelerate professional and career development. Perhaps it’s the stage of our lives that we are in, but this can be a big miss for organizations that are not prepared to show us what’s next.

Six months ago, I was at a crossroads in my career, thinking critically about my future. Oracle provided a clear roadmap of career path opportunities and the key competencies required for advancement in roles of interest, preventing me from seeking outside opportunities and enabling me to successfully transition to my desired role.

Companies that offer career mapping are on the right track! Your millennials will feel empowered about their career decisions and more motivated in their work when they understand the criteria your company has set on what it takes to advance. 

Millennials want a coach, not a manager.

Ambitious as we are to advance our careers, we want a “coach” who can help us learn and grow in our current role. More so than other management styles, coaching helps employees understand what needs to be done and unlocks their willingness and potential to learn from failure.

Begin with a discussion around goals. According to a Gallup survey, employees are almost three times more likely than others to be engaged when they’ve had a conversation with their manager around goals and successes in the last six months. Managers that set well-thought-out goals provide clarity for expectations and measuring success, allowing millennial workers to develop professionally. We can understand our strengths and weaknesses and feel accomplished when we succeed, which leads to greater engagement.

But don’t forget the millennial has goals too! We want to share our professional aspirations with our managers and have a say in setting performance expectations that are fair but challenging. My best managers have always taken the time to understand my personal goals and worked with me to align them with the business objectives, resulting in greater motivation and productivity.

Millennials want feedback. All. The. Time.

Surprise! Along with collaborative goal setting, we want feedback from our managers 50 percent more often than other employees, and as frequently as once per week. We are the digital natives, and as such, we are used to getting instant feedback at the touch of a button in order to learn and grow.

Yet only 17% of millennials strongly agree they receive routine or meaningful feedback from their manager.  

Annual performance reviews and quarterly check-ins aren’t enough to keep us engaged. Ongoing feedback from management enables us to see how our daily performance aligns with our goals, and supports our professional development (which we already know is a top priority for millennials).

As a millennial, I can tell you that I appreciate the time my manager makes to provide an open-door policy for continuous feedback. Getting the managerial perspective not only provides direction, but it speaks to the quality of my work and enables the sharing of knowledge for professional growth. For me, this is a motivator to keep elevating my performance and keeps me happy and engaged.

HR leaders and managers need to be proactive with their engagement strategies and development opportunities if they are to retain their millennial workers. As one of these leaders, begin by showing your workforce that they have a future with your organization where they can learn, develop, and succeed.

For additional information on how to engage your millennial workforce with impactful talent management, visit the Oracle Talent Management Cloud homepage.

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