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How Do We Retain Our Millennial Talent? 

What is a Millennial? 

Research shows that a Millennial is a person born between the years of 1982 & 2004. The name ‘Millennial’ was created by Neil Howe and William Strauss, who first used the term in the mid 90’s and wrote ‘Millennials Rising’ and also ‘Generations’ which was among the first books to explore the idea that certain age groups shared qualities such as beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviours because of the time that they grew up. 

There’s no doubt these young adults are changing the way we do business, and while analysts and talent management experts may debate whether that’s a good thing or a bad, it’s inevitable. Millennials are increasingly moving into leadership positions that were once filled by older employees. 

The question for today in our SME, is how to creatively retain Millennial talent, particularly in the face of expanding opportunities within this key demographic? 

1.Create a Positive Culture

Many blogs that we post on Fridays have an underlying message about positive work environments and cultures – there’s a reason for that. The majority of Millennials would rather work in a positive, safe and happy environment as opposed to somewhere they can receive a higher salary while being unhappy. In 2016 it is no longer optional for businesses to work on building a strong and positive work culture, it’s a necessity for a viable and long-term talent management strategy. Talent is generally hired now around the premise of cultural fit, values, and purpose. 

2. Mentorship

Having mentorship opportunities within your business is valuable for any age group, in particular, Millennials as they commence their career journey. Millennials thrive off of education and as a Millennial myself, being able to learn about my role and the corporate culture of my work environment would increase my level of engagement and could increase long-term retention of talent as Millennials would see this opportunity as their employer willing to take part in their growth and success. 

3. Transparency in the Workplace

The days of a ‘traditional’ work environment are long gone where meetings happened behind closed doors and employees lived in fear of being fired at any moment. In today’s modern work environment, managers and teams embrace honesty and transparency. Transparency in the workplace is driven by the Millennials desire for such a workplace setting to exist. 

4. Purpose

There is a generalised misconception that Millennials or Gen Y’s are selfish and only do things for themselves – which is actually quite incorrect. Yes, this is coming from a Millennial but also a hard working Millennial. We actually have a strong desire to have a purpose or be part of something greater than just ‘us’. A big push for many Millennials in business, life and every day is ..purpose. Millennials commonly shun traditional ideas of big corporations and perceptions of profit driven greed, so we look for employment in businesses reflecting values and purpose. As a Millennial, I have left roles where business values or purposes weren’t in-line with mine and visa versa to go into roles, where the purpose is clear, real and also positive. 

So there you have it, some tips on how to hold onto your Millennial Talent. Not only are the four points given positive, strong and achievable from a business perspective but they are also ones that would lead to greater benefits for all team members whether they be 70, 50, 40 or even 20. 

Gone are the days of sweeping generalisations that Millennials are lazy, have a horrible work ethic and can’t keep a stable job. Yes, we love our social media and are stuck to our phones and tablets – but we are constantly learning and building on foundations in business and life. 

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