As digital natives, Millennials are the first generation to enter the workforce with a better grip on a key business tool – technology – than you and your Gen X and Boomer colleagues, which makes them a required resource for any business. Generally optimistic and engaged, Millennials are team players with an abundance of enthusiasm and an uncanny ability to multi-task. They are also the first generation to build personal brands via social media, which helps them to move jobs easier. And, having come of age in a world shaped by financial crisis, where job security is an unlikely safety net, they are also the least loyal employees ever, placing personal requirements above employer demands. So how do you attract – and retain – this fickle yet desirable demographic? Here are 6 ways:
1. Offer a good work-life balance
Raised in a society where family life was often compromised by parents’ dedication to work, and where hardworking people still lost their jobs due to the recession, Millennials tend to be more focussed on social needs, placing very high importance on work-life balance. Give them the flexibility they crave in where, when and how they work.
2. Provide a non-traditional working environment
The rigidity of traditional office culture does not appeal to Millennials. Instead, environments that keep Millennials happy tend to have collaborative practices, inclusive attitudes, non-rigid management structures with full access to company information, and flexible work arrangements.
3. Treat them like equals
Having grown up in the age of social media and gaming, Millennials are used to being able to affect the world as equals, whenever, wherever. They enjoy open and uninhibited discussion and batting ideas around within their own peer group, but also want direct contact with top management to air their opinions and receive immediate feedback.
4. Be a mentor, not a boss
This generation thrives off a management style that meets their needs, not one which dictates. They don’t want a boss who calls all the shots, they want a coach or mentor. Remember that while they desire financial rewards, security and diversity, they’re most likely to stay in a job through positive relationships and experiences.
5. Provide them with constant challenges
Arguably addicted to the instant gratification of social media, many Millennials remain hungry for recognition. They get bored easily and need to be constantly challenged and provided with sufficient attention in the form of regular feedback, together with opportunities for rapid progression, and a varied and interesting career.
6. Be committed to their development and learning
For Millennials, loyalty is a two-way street. They’re willing to devote their creativity, time, commitment and all their other capacities to your business if you’re also committed to their development and learning.
Finally, remember that Millennials are known for their propensity to share their opinion. If they are impressed with the way your organisation treats them, they will be fast to advocate it, which can, in turn, attract more suitable talent. This word-of-mouth recruitment method is extremely valuable among this generation, which has been bombarded by advertising to such an extent that it’s grown sceptical about promotional material of any kind. Whether buying products and services or considering employment, Millennials prefer to listen to their friends.
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