Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

6 Things You Can Do to Attract and Retain Millennial Employees

The workplace is changing—30% of small business owners in a USA Today survey conducted earlier this year say it’s getting more difficult to find qualified employees. But, when you do find them, chances are your new hire will be one of America’s more than 80 million millennials.

Hiring millennials isn’t actually the hard part. Retaining them is. In a Gallup poll, 60% of millennial workers say they’re open to changing jobs, compared to 45% of non-millennial workers.

How can you make your business a place where millennials want to work? Here are 6 things your business can do to attract and retain them.

  1. Offer competitive pay: The media may portray millennials as carefree participants in the gig economy, but this generation is actually pretty traditional. They seek financial security, want to buy homes, and save for retirement. In fact, salary and financial benefits are the number-one factor millennials consider when choosing an employer, according to The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.
  2. Give them opportunities to advance and lead: Millennials are eager to move up at work and develop their leadership skills. Deloitte’s 2017 survey also found millennials are happiest at work when their employers actively encourage all employees to share ideas, are committed to equality and inclusiveness, and understand and support younger employees’ ambitions.
  3. Encourage work-life balance: While The 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey found nearly two-thirds of millennials prefer full-time employment, that doesn't mean they want to sit in a cubicle from “9-to-5,” or what today seems to be turning into the “8-to-9.” Work/life balance is the second most important factor for millennials seeking employment, which businesses can encourage with flexible work policies.
  4. Offer flexible work: Millennials who have flexible work arrangements are more satisfied with their jobs and more loyal to their employers, Deloitte’s 2017 survey says. Flexible hours are less important than flexible locations, with remote work a growing trend. (The number of employees who can work remotely rose from 43% in 2016 to 64% in 2017.) Millennials say flexible work makes them more productive, more engaged, and happier—all of which benefits your business. Invest in ways to collaborate from anywhere with cloud-based storage and sharing solutions, and your team will be ready for anything.
  1. Give them meaningful work: More than three-fourths of millennials in the 2017 survey believe businesses can be a force for positive social change. The most satisfied millennials surveyed are those whose jobs give them a strong sense of purpose over and above financial success. Positive social change doesn’t necessarily mean being “green” or environmentally friendly; Instead, millennials judge a company’s worth based on how well it treats employees, its honesty and integrity, and its customer service.
  2. Provide professional development and training: Although millennials are eager to advance in their jobs, they acknowledge that school may not have prepared them to do so. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t, either: Only 24% of millennials are “very satisfied” with professional development and training at their workplace, noted in Deloitte’s 2016 study. You can provide professional development through a mentoring program, give employees educational opportunities through a professional or industry association, or use online training programs. Professional development can even be as simple as providing regular, frequent feedback to help millennials improve their performance. According to Deloitte, millennials are more than twice as likely to be engaged at work if their managers meet with them regularly than if they don’t.

If you would like to better understand what’s happening in the SMB space and how it may affect your company, join our webinar on November 2nd, Overcoming the Disengagement Dilemma, featuring Andrew Sherman, strategic business advisor and author of The Crisis of Disengagement, and Cara Capretta, Vice President of Human Capital Transformation Practice at Oracle.

On November 2nd, learn about the state of America’s workforce and what SMBs can do to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Register today!

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