For a few years, we have been talking about Millennials and employing them. Have we learned anything over these few years?
Something important I learned is that when millennials talk about wanting “independence”, they are not referring to independence like the older generations define it. Merriam-Webster defines independent:
(1): not requiring or relying on something else: not contingent
(2): not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct
(3): not bound by or committed to a political party
An example of this would be; the boss gives the employee a project to work on and walks away. The employee goes and implements the project and then brings the finished project to the boss.
After speaking with coaches and millennials it seems they have a different meaning for independence. They want to have the ability to be flexible and not micro-managed, but they still want the contact regularly. Millennials want to be checked-in on, told they are doing a good job, explained how it should be done, etc.
This is a very different meaning from what my perception of independence in the workplace is. This difference in definition is a contributing factor to the disconnect when business owners and managers are trying to retain millennials.
3 factors that help retain millennials are flexibility (not independence), diversity, and inclusion. How can you show your millennial employees that these factors are important to you as well?
– Give employees the option to work flexible hours if the work is being done
– Allow employees to work off-site 1 or 2 days a week
– Create a program to allow your employees to focus on passion projects a couple of hours a week.
– Individuals tend to hire others like them. Keep your team diverse by hiring individuals with differing backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and so forth.
– Promote equal numbers of men and women but don’t promote just because of their gender.
– Create a strategy team (group) and invite anyone that would like to participate. Discuss strategies, improvements, etc. and allow the team to be included in the final decision.
– When a new project arises open it up to all those that are interested. Give all individuals an opportunity to be assigned to new projects rather than the same team members.
– Be transparent about your goals and directions of the company. Let them know and feel they are included in the success.
If you have more questions about retaining millennials contact us and we can get you the answers and help you are looking for.