Millennials, often referred to as the “job-hopping generation”, are more likely to change roles than any other age group. Why is this the case? What are some of the myths surrounding the millennial debate? We examined this in greater detail, and looked at areas where the problems can be easily solved.
The millennial debate
Deloitte have predicted that by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. Yet, worryingly, Gallup have found that they are the least engaged generation, with 71% either not engaged or actively disengaged at work in the US.
However, it’s not all bad news. Crucially, Gallup also found that what millennials want from their employment isn’t dramatically different to the generations that have come before. While millennials do place a greater importance on opportunities to learn and grow, all generations are closely aligned when it comes to many other aspects of their careers.
Why is this important? Well, it suggests that companies don’t need to make dramatic business changes in order to engage millennials, and instead suggests that the gaps between each generation are much easier to bridge. This means that you can target key business areas to implement changes that will appeal to all generations, and not just the few.
Finding purpose in the workplace
One of the biggest factors that millennials look for in their work is “purpose, not pay checks”. Less than 50% of millennials find the overall compensation package from a job “extremely important”, and instead look for fulfilling opportunities. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that you have this generation buy into something other than a benefits package.
Do this by focusing on the impact that your business plans to make, and engaging with your employee’s emotions. Have company-wide meetings where business goals are discussed, and talk about aligning values to ensure all are working towards the same mission. Get employees excited about new projects, involve them in the day-to-day statistics and successes, and show them the impact that they’re having with tangible results.
Not only will this approach help to attract and retain millennials, but it can be extremely beneficial for businesses too. A 10-year study examining 50,000 brands found that businesses who are purpose-driven enjoyed a growth rate that was triple that of their competitors who were focused on monetary gains.
Learning and development opportunities
Another key area that millennials focus on is extra opportunities that a role will offer. The biggest of these, and the one that sets them apart the most from other generations, are opportunities for growing and learning.
87% of this generation say that development is crucial within a job, and 59% say that it’s an extremely important factor when they are applying for a new role. Clearly, a business failing to address this need could be struggling to attract over half of the generation.
Therefore, look for ways that you can offer these extra opportunities. Follow in the footsteps of other companies doing this, and consider things such as job-related conferences, on-site training courses, leadership programmes, in-house hackathon days or company retreats.
You can choose industry-specific courses, or general courses that aim to broaden skillsets, both of which will grant millennials knowledge that they can apply back to your business.
Flexible working options
Another factor that millennials desire is the option for flexible working. It’s crucial to note that while 42% of millennials prefer working from an office, simply not having the ability to work elsewhere is one of the primary reasons that this generation quits their jobs.
A report from Millennial Branding found that 45% of the generation place a greater importance on workplace flexibility rather than pay. Therefore, just as you must address opportunities to learn and grow, ensure that you offer flexible work options too.
The options that you offer will, of course, differ depending on your business, but look to make concessions where possible. Can the work be completed from home? Can business critical tasks be completed in a shorter number of hours? Giving millennials the autonomy to choose their own working schedule will be an attractive prospect when they are choosing job roles.
It’s important to note that both sides must ask questions of each other. Millennials have every right to look for work that they’ll find fulfilling, but senior leaders also have a right to look for candidates who are committed and dedicated to the work they’ll be doing.
Perhaps millennials do want to make more of a difference than generations that have come before them, but this doesn’t have to be a negative. Rather than focusing on a benefits package, focus on showing them the vision for your business, and offering them extra opportunities along the way. With this, you’ll have a workforce who are committed to staying with your business for the long term.