By Susan Troscinski
Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. Three generations that couldn’t be more different. So why assume one retention strategy works for all? In this three-part series, we take a look at what each generation expects from a job and from an employer – what makes them thrive and, ultimately, what makes them stay.
In this first article, we explore strategies for retaining Millennials – the “me” generation born between 1978 and 1995. These 18- to 35-year-olds comprise the largest generation (75 million) after Boomers (80 million), compared to the Generation Xers (40 million). By the year 2025, they’ll make up three out of every four workers worldwide.
Millennials, or Generation Yers, are independent and innovative, success- and value-driven. For them, the world – and the competition – is just a click a way. And while traditional retention strategies awarding salary and benefits might play well with older generations, especially as they near their retirement years, those same incentives are a short-sighted strategy for retaining Millennials, who look at life – and work – much differently.
A wake-up call from Millennials
With a record number of Millennials entering the workforce, organizations who haven’t already given thought to customizing training opportunities, career paths, incentives and work responsibilities in ways that will keep this generation engaged need a clear wake-up call.
Proof is in the numbers: A recent poll of 233 human resource professionals from various industries conducted by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com found 30 percent of respondents indicating their organizations had lost 15 percent or more of their Millennial employees in the past year. And these figures come on the heels of recent Millennial Branding statistics showing 45 percent of companies experiencing high turnover among employees identified as Millennials – by a 2:1 margin compared to their older co-workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs up this trend, citing that the average job tenure across all industries is 6.2 years, with Millennials moving to their next job in just 4.6 years.
The majority of HR professionals surveyed by Millennial Branding said they see Gen Y workers leaving in search of a “good cultural fit”. Respondents also cited “better offers from another company” (30 percent), “professional goals aren’t aligned with the company” (27 percent), and “a lack of career opportunities” (13 percent) as common reasons why Millennial employees are leaving. And it comes with a cost – respondents said losing and replacing a Millennial employee costs a company between $15,000 and $25,000.
- Do Millennials Want to Work for Your Company? (shoretel.com)
- Millennials In The Workplace (thehartford.com)
- The Rise of the Millennial Workforce (intercall.com)
- 10 Ways Millennials Are Creating The Future Of Work (forbes.com)
- For Millennials, a Generational Divide (nytimes.com)
- Grandpa Looks at How (Not) to Market to Millennials (business2community.com)
- 8 Reasons Why Your Next Job Will Be a Freelance Project (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Are Millennials a Match for Public Service? (publicroadmap.wordpress.com)
- Building A Culture For Millennials [INFOGRAPHIC] (blogs.sap.com)