HOW TO: Keep millennials in your team
Updated: Apr 28
A common topic of conversation in HR circles is how to address the 4-5 generations now immersed together in the workplace. In particular, millennials can seem flighty, as they move on every couple of years to new adventures or opportunities. Gone is the job for life. But this creates problems for your company, because how do you build a pipeline of talent? Learn how to address the differences in tapping into the hearts and minds of our younger generation workforce.
Agh! You spend all of this time and money and effort, training and developing the next generation - Gen Y, Gen Z - and within a couple of years they've gone off to find a role at another company with more responsibility or more money. Or they've flown the coop to do a stint in New York or London. Or maybe they just skipped out to start their own protein balls business.
Whatever it happens to be, you end up losing this fantastic talent that you've spent all of this time training and developing. And the real problem is: you might have benched them to move into particular leadership or managerial roles, and now they've left your company and you with a gap in your future workforce.
I'm Lata Hamilton, Change Leadership and Confidence expert. And this is the fourth article in my 15-part Reimagine Restructures Blog Series. So here’s three ideas for you around how to entice that next generation to stick around and encourage them to stay with you and with your company.
Prefer to watch the 5 minute video? Jump over to my Youtube Channel.
IDEA #1: Make it Instagrammable
So the first idea that I have for you is to create experiences. Millennials - Gen Y, Gen Z - they really do want to have a good time, but much more than that they also want to share those experiences. And, of course, they're more than happy to share this stuff on social media. But the beauty of it is: this can actually be almost free advertising and marketing for you... not just for your brand, but also for future talent!
How do you create experiences? You can provide social experiences:
The office set up
Staff social events
Attendance to own branded events for customers and clients
Build out these experiences to give them something to enjoy and want to share.
And you can provide personal or professional development and growth experiences. Simon Sinek does this great YouTube talk on companies having the opportunity to breed a sense of responsibility (and breed a sense of accountability) with the younger workforce.
Millennials can be fantastic talent for you in the future, and spokespeople for you in the present day.
IDEA #2: Flexibility first
The second idea that I have for you is to offer flexibility. Now, a lot of companies have a Flexibility Policy, but there’s still a sense that this flexibility is really for parental purposes. So it's not just having the policy, it’s encouraging everybody in your company, all of the demographics, to know that this Flexibility Policy is available, and that they, too, can take advantage of it.
There's a trend for millennials and the younger generation around self-care: to have time to recharge, to relax, to reboot. So encouraging flexibility amongst the younger generation can actually tap into this core value and help them feel you understand what's important to them. You can also encourage flexibility for travel: to do a work stint overseas, or head on a few months’ adventure, etc.
And lastly flexibility can be used if people do want to have a side hustle or side business. Being in business can be the steepest learning curve that you'll ever have in your whole life: the growth, the development, the learnings, the resilience, and the perseverance that gets built. These can be fabulous qualities that get built up in the business side of their world, but then they bring that back into their paid employment with you.
Encourage the use of flexibility for everybody in your workplace. Including, and especially for, the younger generation, too.
IDEA #3: Show them the money
And then the third idea that I have for you is to pay them what they are worth. I know it can be hard to balance wanting to source the best talent and actually putting your hand into your pocket to attract them in. If you do pay them well at the start, especially grads, make sure you continue to do that through their future with you.
Of course, you need to balance high salaries or pay rates with making sure that there's an appreciation and a sense of earning their income and their salary. But if you don't pay these younger employees what they are worth, then they are going to start looking elsewhere. Try to focus not on the value that they can bring to you right now, but the value of their potential and not having to recruit to backfill them if they leave.
Millennials can create an incredible next-generation future workforce for you. It's up to you to show them why they should stay.
I'm Lata Hamilton - the Founder & CEO of Passion Pioneers, a Change Management consultancy specialising in digital transformation, operating model changes, and new ways of working and leadership.
Grab my free Creative Launch Ideas Guide with 53 ways to bring your next Change and Transformation to life - download it here.
And if you'd like my help with your next change or building leadership capability for your team, get in touch with me here.