Mervyn Dinnen, Author and Talent Acquisition Analyst
Speak to almost any HR professional and they’ll tell you the same thing: today’s employees, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are changing roles and employers more frequently than ever before.
This reality may not always leap out in a company’s top line data, and with older employees holding on to secure roles in the face of economic uncertainty; most studies on churn do little to reveal micro trends among millennial workers. However, a wealth of choice and a massive skills shortage have put young talent in high demand, and companies understand they need to do more to keep their best workers from leaving.
Here are four tips from my own discussions with HR professionals and industry analysts on how they can achieve this:
Tip 1: Monotony is the enemy
Young people don’t want repetition. In their eyes, and indeed in the wider business world, repetitive tasks will soon be shifted over to robots and software so that people can focus on genuinely interesting and engaging work.
One option is to offer more project-based work. This not only adds variety to employees’ jobs, it also gives them more opportunities to learn new skills with each project, work with a wider mix of people, and always have a clear goal to work towards. Project-based work also lends itself well to the rise of the gig economy and contract workers, both of which businesses will increasingly take advantage of to scale their skillset to ad-hoc needs.
Tip 2: First impressions are key
Successful on-boarding has never been more important. New hires who don’t feel the organisation is invested in them from day one will immediately feel uneasy about their position, and this first impression may be difficult to reverse. It may be tempting to leave new hires to their own devices if we assume they’ll be leaving in a year or two, but this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like any relationship, both parties will get the most from each other if they assume the best in each other.
Tip 3: Second, third and fourth impressions are also key
Career development needs to feel constant for every employee, particularly millennials. The annual review is a thing of the past. Managers need to work directly with each team member to set and revise their goals and development path, and to make sure there is a clear pay-off in view for those who perform well. The best employees learn and progress quickly, and with so many suitors ready to poach them, they need to feel the pace of their progress matches their ambitions.
Tip 4: Benefits matter, but they are also changing
There was a time when the most valued benefit for an employee was their pension package, but for a restless 20-something year old retirement is too far off in the future for this to matter much. Pensions aren’t much of a differentiator either, as most companies now offer these.
Whether it’s a cycle-to-work scheme, health and wellness programme, or flexible working hours businesses are rethinking their employee perks for the needs of today’s workforce. Never has it been more important to build a strong employer brand, and it is these types of benefits that will help companies do so while also serving the needs of their workforce.
For more on how employee habits are changing and companies are adapting, tune into Oracle’s recent webinar on the topic that I also participated in.