Companies are having trouble recruiting, retaining and growing their millennial talent. This issue is going to become much bigger as more millennials enter the workplace in the coming years. They will become 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. Millennials are the most educated, diverse and connected generation in history and they are going completely against normal work protocol. They have a different view of how work should get done and are increasingly making changes as they become managers.
In a recent study by my company and Beyond.com, we found that it costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to replace each millennial worker and the average millennial tenure is only two years. The cost includes training and development, job advertising and on boarding. Here are a few things you should know about millennials and how they will impact the workplace in the foreseeable future:
1. They have a positive view of their managers. In a new study, in partnership with American Express, we found that millennials have a positive view of their managers. They view their managers as having experience, wisdom and being willing to mentor. Managers, on the other hand, have a negative view of their millennial employees. They view them as being entitled and lazy. Instead of listening to how the media portrays the millennials, give them a chance.
2. They want to make a difference in the world. Eighty-four percent of millennials say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition, reports Bentley University Center for Women and Business. They want to work for a company that wants to make a positive difference in society and are sick of companies that are too focused on profits. Make sure your company has a strong mission behind it and communicate that to your millennial talent.
3. They need career support. The top reason millennials leave their companies is because of a lack of career opportunities. If they don’t see a path up, they move out. By creating an internal hiring program, and giving current employees the first shot at positions, you will be able to retain them. They also want your mentoring and sponsorship because they are just starting off in their careers and are interested in knowing what it takes to succeed at your company.
4. They want to use social networks at work. Millennials won’t work for your company if you ban social networks. They want to be able to use social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to communicate with their co-workers and friends. Companies should embrace social networks because they allow millennials to build relationships, learn about what’s going on in their industry and develop their own careers. If you band social networks, you will have a very tough time competing for millennial talent.
5. They want constant feedback instead of annual performance reviews. In a new study that I did in partnership with American Express, we found that nearly half of managers get an annual performance review and some don’t receive any review at all. Make sure that your managers are trained to give feedback along the way so that millennials can learn from their mistakes and improve. Then, if you give an annual performance review it will be better because you’ve set expectations.
6. They embrace collaboration. They don’t like corporate hierarchies. Instead, they like to work on projects with their peers to accomplish organizational goals. They dislike cubicles because they are confined and not open. Instead, they want to sit around a table with their co-workers and solve real problems. By creating a strong culture that embraced collaboration, you will hold onto your millennial workers.