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5 Ways to Retain Your Best Millennials

Kate O'Brien on February 29, 2016 10:38 AM

Care@Work's favorite tips to retaining millennial talent

Millennials. Generation Y. Call them what you want.

Sometimes it feels like you can’t go a day without seeing a new article blasting those born after 1980 for their laziness, entitlement, and screen addiction. But what most cookie cutter Millennial takedowns neglect to mention is that Millennials are growing up – and they often have legitimate reasons for moving on.

You already know most Millennials have one foot out the door. By the end of 2020, 2 of every 3 Millennials hope to have moved on from their current employer. Since Millennials are now the largest segment of the workforce, their lack of loyalty to employers could become a costly problem. It’s time to face the reality that Millennials are essential parts of the economy, and it’s going to take some innovative strategies to motivate them to stay with employers.

Below are five of our favorite tips for retaining your top millennial talent.

  1. Improve Work-Life Integration
    Millennials are involved in a lot, and have been since their parents placed them in a million extracurricular activities to make their college application stand out.  Whether they’re spending time with children, family, and friends, taking care of pets, or finding quirky new hobbies, it seems like Millennials are always busy. It’s not that they’re unwilling to put in the hours at work; they just value their time greatly and expect a level of autonomy over how they use it. Put policies in place to allow them to enjoy their free time: offer a concierge service to free up their weekends of errands, or provide comprehensive care benefits for their family care needs. f

    READ MORE: Why Millennial Moms are Struggling with Work-Life Balance 
  1. Give Employees More Control Over When and Where They Work
    An overwhelming majority of Millennials (88 percent of those surveyed) are not satisfied with the levels of flexibility in the workplace. They wish they could have greater opportunity to start and finish work at the times they choose, and they want the opportunity to work where they feel the most productive. Most employees today have the technology to work from wherever, and Millennials, as Digital Natives, definitely know how to use it.

    Research has shown flex and remote work opportunities can improve productivity. So provide the flexibility for your employees to leverage tech to improve their work-life integration. Whether it’s avoiding rush hour or making that day care pick up, a little bit of flexibility will go a long way for employees. If you’re still worried about the impacts on productivity, run a pilot program to see how it will fit with your culture. Generation Y will likely be the first to sign up. 

    Find Tips for Managing Your Remote Employees 
  1. Make Career Development a Priority
    The most loyal Millennial employees agree there is a lot of training available to those wishing to take on leadership roles. As higher education becomes a standard qualification for many industries, employees starting their careers view further professional development as their ticket to a promotion.  Invest in employees’ learning with in-house training, access to online learning services or tuition reimbursement.  Not only do Millennials appreciate development opportunities, they also value a vision for their future at their organization. Many are stuck in a quarter-life crisis, unsure of what they want to do next with their life. Help your employees feel in control of their career path with mentoring or coaching programs, and make it clear that it’s possible to explore internal opportunities if they want to try out something new. Otherwise, Millennials will feel they have to look to other companies for support in their ambitions. 

    READ MORE: 101 Reasons To Care About Employees' Lives Outside of Work 
  1. Provide a Sense of Stability
    Many Millennials job hop because they feel like they have no choice.  They can’t quite shake the memory of the Recession that hit this generation (and their parents) so hard, so many will jump at any opportunity for career advancement and economic stability. Considering their range in age, they may be planning to start a family, working to pay off student loan debt, or facing outrageous housing costs, and they want to be in a position where they feel stable. They aren’t naïve — Millennials don’t think they’ll have the stability their parents had, but they still strive for a fraction of it. Transparency is the key for avoiding anxiety among Millennials; they will appreciate you keeping them in the loop about changes that could impact their jobs. Maintain a clear mission and vision and your top young talent will feel confident in their place in the organization and inspired about their work. 

    INTRODUCING Care@Work - A New Approach to Family Care Benefits 
  1. Help Millennials Engage with their Benefits
    A healthy majority of Millennials would leave their job for one with better benefits, but they are also unaware of the benefits they already have. Often, benefits go unused because employees don’t know the best ways to take advantage of them, or the plans don’t fit their needs. Provide flexible benefits to fit the unique needs of your diverse workforce and communicate them well. Employ an advisor that can explain the different plans and offer recommendations on a case-to-case basis. Technology with user-friendly interfaces and mobile access points can also help bridge the gap for Millennials who aren’t sure how to access their benefits.

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