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Via Forbes : Surprise—Millennial And Gen-Z Workers Are More Loyal Than You Think

Millennial workers are opportunists who, in flitting from job to job, aren’t the least bit loyal to their employers. Or so says conventional wisdom.

And while the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey reports that nearly half of Millennials (49%) would, if they had a choice, quit their current job in the next two years, a new study challenges that trend: According to Zapier’s Digital Natives Report, Millennial employees, on average, plan to stay at their current job for 10 years. And Gen-Z, at six years, isn’t far behind.

So how can these seemingly contradictory facts co-exist? Simple: It’s all in the numbers.

If 49% of Millennials are apt to leave their current job within two years, that means, conversely, a full 51% are planning to stay long term and perhaps even until retirement.

The aha? When it comes to job loyalty, it’s all or nothing for our youngest generations. If companies can inspire their commitment, they’ll go all-in—even, as the Digital Natives Report asserts, to the point of job burnout.

But to win—and sustain—that kind of loyalty, employers must score a workplace trifecta: salary, purpose, and employee development.

Salary

Like other generations, Millennials rate salary as the most important reason for accepting a job. Not to mention that nearly three out of four Millennials (74%) and Gen-Zers (73%) expect a pay raise every year in order to stay at their current company. What’s more, they are much bolder in their approach to salary negotiations than their older colleagues.

All to say, to attract and retain Millennial and Gen-Z talent, employers must prioritize a competitive salary with annual pay raises. And yet, as paramount as the paycheck is for this debt-ridden generation, it’s not the only consideration.

Purpose

The notion of work-life balance is becoming obsolete, as it insinuates that our professional and personal lives are somehow separate and distinct. But in the new world of 24/7 connectivity, younger workers, especially as digital natives, believe that work and life happen simultaneously and thereby can’t be extricated from one another.

Additionally, the Digital Natives Report notes that 73% of Millennials and 65% of Gen-Zers see their work as an integral part of their personal identity—a key reason why purposeful work is particularly important to them. Besides, if work is life and life is work, then work needs to really matter.

Simply put, then, Millennials and Gen-Z expect a workplace that fully empowers them to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make a difference in the world—and that requires a like-minded company culture. Otherwise, they’ll take their talent, energy and loyalty elsewhere.

Employee development

Millennial college grads don’t feel prepared for today’s evolving workforce, and that makes being able to upskill while on the job a major perk. Moreover, most employers think that younger workers tend to lack some key workplace skills—critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, leadership, and intercultural fluency, among them.

Thus, it’s no wonder that Millennials, as well as Gen-Z, are seeking workplaces that can fill the gap between their education and their career. Accordingly, on-the-job learning is no longer just a nice perk; in fact, according to Deloitte, the opportunity to learn is now a top reason that job candidates will accept an employer’s offer.

And it’s not only technical skills that younger workers want to learn on the job. They also want to acquire professional skills that will not only last a lifetime, but also can’t—and won’t—be replicated by AI. That’s because, as robotic technology advances, they instinctively understand that “the answer isn’t to out-do the machines, it’s to be more human.”

A workplace trifecta

The all-or-nothing loyalty of Millennials and Gen-Z is good news for today’s employers. That is, if they can, and will, pay them a competitive salary with annual raises, provide a purpose larger than themselves, and present ongoing opportunities to develop and upskill while on the job.

And then what? These youngest—and all-too-often-misunderstood—generations will do the rest.

Via ValueWalk : Four Common Mistakes When Managing Millennials And How To Fix Them

Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and 2002 (depending who you ask). Also called Gen Y, they are commonly labelled as overly ambitious, entitled, and somewhat needy. This in part has been attributed to being raised by Gen X, a generation that strives to provide everything they could for their children. And yet, I love hiring millennials. Despite the sometimes negative reputation they get in the business world, they really are an important asset and too often go undervalued. I have, however, learned some valuable lessons over the years from having millennials as part of the team – most valuable of which: how not to manage them.

Here are the four mistakes to avoid when managing millennials, and how to fix them.

1. Trying to be “hip with the kids”

I listed this mistake first for a reason. One of the worst things you can do when managing a millennial is to try and act like them – you’ll only embarrass yourself and lose their respect. You must accept that there are significant differences between you and your millennial employee (including the fact that you were a real human in 1981). Attempting to adapt to their strange new ways will feel unnatural and it’s best to stick with what you know.

At the same time, don’t let them make you feel old because that is not something to be ashamed about. With age comes experience, an invaluable asset in any business. Simply continue to work hard and demonstrate your expertise, and the younger generation will respect you and seek out your opinions.

2. Not setting deadlines

Millennials, as flexible and carefree as they may seem, do still need structure and regular hours in the workplace. Remember, this is the generation that was raised on organized soccer games, play-dates and other endlessly structured plans designed by their eager parents. Without some structure, millennials can become distracted or have trouble prioritizing what needs to be done. Set hard deadlines and leave it to them to figure out how it ought to be met. If they need help prioritizing, show them the ropes. It might take some time, but they will give back to your company in spades.

3. Not communicating enough

If you’ve ever worked with millennials, it’s no secret that they need frequent communication and feedback. This can be partly attributed to growing up in the Internet Age, where they’ve become accustomed to getting what they want instantly. This need for instant gratification sometimes translates into a need for constant feedback on how they are preforming in the workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean they want constant praise, but they like to know how they are doing so they don’t have any surprises during evaluations. Communication is a great thing – learn to be honest with your millennial employees.

4. Micromanagement

Setting deadlines and giving timely feedback is one thing, however, there’s nothing a millennial despises more than a micromanaging boss. Despite their entitled reputation, millennials are quite hardworking and can be left to their own devices to get the work done. They will multi-task in a way that you never knew was possible, with their phones out and headphones in, but never underestimate their abilities.

Managing Millennials: Conclusion

Managing millennials is not a simple task, but when you instill confidence in your millennials, it will be rewarded. Give them the chance to prove the stereotypes wrong and you won’t be disappointed.

Via Forbes : Why You Can’t Hold On To Millennial Employees Despite Your Cool Workplace

Despite what the trends focusing on workplace culture and perks suggest, when young professionals think about what they want from an employer, the first thing on their mind isn’t an ergonomic desk chair or free lunch. What employees really want is to win, and true professional fulfillment occurs when companies give employees opportunities to succeed, both individually and as a team.

When 50% of millennials have left a job because of mental health reasons like burnout, the pressure on employers to provide a rewarding work environment has never been higher. Why, then, do so many leaders direct their retention efforts on initiatives that don’t work, like adding fun bonuses to the office, when they should be getting at the root cause?

Let’s explore the answer and look at how you can improve millennial retention at your company.

The Perk Problem

In the past decade, the business world has seen a huge rise in companies like Google using elaborate campuses and free services as recruitment and retention tools. They invest huge amounts of time and money bringing in speakers, holding workshops and organizing off-sites, all with the purpose of further engaging their employees. Today, those tactics are falling flat, not because millennials expect them, but because they see right through the efforts as shallow.

Millennials expect to win, and they have a keen sense for bull. They’re risk-takers when they believe the risk is worth the reward, but they’re also cautious because they grew up during the post-2008 heavy recessionary period. Perks won’t be enough to overcome their aversion to losing. If you, as a leader, continually offer up initiatives that can’t win, millennials won’t stick around for long.

Leaders must realize that a job won’t be fulfilling if it’s not also providing the employee a sense of accomplishment and purpose, even if they do get their laundry done for free. No amount of lunch-hour yoga classes will make up for the disappointment of being assigned to failing projects over and over.

Workers, especially millennials, want a deeper sense of satisfaction from their jobs, and it’s up to leaders to set them up for success by pursuing winning initiatives from the start.

Failing To Execute Ideas

Too many executives make big promises about growth when, in practice, they have no idea whether the initiatives they’re funding are going to actually deliver. They put their employees through the ringer trying to force growth and success from initiatives that had no hope of succeeding. The root of this problem lies in executives failing to make informed decisions during the early stages of an initiative.

As a leader, you must fix any retention problems your company has at the decision making level by measuring your execution readiness. Determine how realistic an initiative is based on the resources you’re working with and the expertise of your team. Choose initiatives that have a high chance of success over those with the flashiest ideas. After all, an idea is only good if it can be brought to fruition.

Once you’re pursuing achievable goals and positioning your employees to win, then you can invest in company culture. A strong culture is important, but it should be seen as secondary to winning, not the first line of defense against fleeing employees.

Once you’re at a point where you can focus on company culture, keep in mind that a key part of culture is having a clearly defined vision and adhering to it. For example, “We’re going to be more environmentally conscious.”

Employees, especially millennials, will engage more in their roles when they share core values with their employer. Ideally, you’ll have employees who are tied into the culture, the purpose and the outcomes of your company. They’ll understand the company’s goals and the role they play in achieving them.

However, if they aren’t also experiencing wins, no amount of purpose will earn their loyalty.

A Changing Standard

While many companies still cling to the idea that a trendy campus should be enough to appease their younger workers, other leaders are coming around to a new way of thinking. Since 1977, the Business Roundtable, which includes two hundred of the most powerful CEOs in the world, has held that the fundamental definition of a business — its sole purpose — is to maximize shareholder value.

As of August 19, 2019, they’ve updated their definition to align much more closely with the values held by many millennials, stating that a company is defined by five functions: delivering value to customers, investing in employees, dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers, supporting the communities in which it exists and generating long-term value for shareholders.

These leaders have realized that infinite growth is not sustainable, nor is it compelling to what is now the largest age demographic in the workforce. To retain their millennial employees, companies need to get on board with the new definition and create meaningful work for their employees that has more global impact than improving the bottom line.

The only way to achieve the necessary results is by executing on initiatives successfully and setting up employees to win. Until leaders make that change, no amount of feel-good company culture or surface-level perks will keep millennials from walking out the door.

Via The Drum : Find out why 51% of employees will move on from their current role in the next year

Workplace trends are changing fast. A keen focus on wellbeing and diversity initiatives, from both the employer and the employees, is at the forefront of such changing trends in 2019, according to a new study from Aspire, a global recruitment agency based in the UK, APAC and the US.

Based on research generated through surveys sent to their clients and candidates, the report’s focus is on wellbeing and diversity initiatives, and the changes brought to the workplace by the millennial generation.

Why is this report necessary?

The fabric of the working world has changed dramatically over the last few years. The growth of equal working opportunities regarding gender, ethnicity, age and disability has made it necessary for a report such as Aspire’s to consider what employers need to do to attract, and retain, talent. Operating in this changing world requires employers to accept that homogenous attitudes towards employees, and one-size-fits-all initiatives, are no longer effective. Hence, to thrive, businesses must satisfy the desires, and expectations, of the new workforce.

The millennials and their expectations

The report covers in detail the changes that have occurred in line with the growth of millennials in the workforce. By 2025, the group shall make up 75% of the world’s workforce.

Millennials are often viewed as the group that have instigated, or perhaps even demanded, alterations to workplace structures. The report examines how open-plan offices, working from home and flexible working are just a few examples of initiatives increasingly introduced in the last few years. Flexible working has been found as the most popular benefit offered by employers, with 63% of employees preferring it over other schemes. Employee needs are being increasingly recognised within the workplace, and those who don’t offer these initiatives could lose their candidates, and thus their competitiveness.

Aspire has found that 51% of candidate respondents said they would move jobs by the end of the year. Contrastingly, only 6% said they were happy to stay with their company for the next 4-5 years. Therefore, the ideology that previous generations had of a ‘job-for-life’ no longer exists.

Encouraging diversity and valuing employees for their differences

The definition of ‘diversity’ has changed over the last decade, according to the report. Employers have come to realise that this is no longer restricted to gender or ethnicity; socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, disability and age are amongst those factors that employers must now consider when recruiting.

It also addresses the benefits that can come with a successful recruiting process which allows for a diverse workforce, positively affecting higher profits. The 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group, which studied 1700 different companies across 8 different countries, found that having diverse management teams led to a 19% higher revenue.

Aspire’s report recognises that removing biases is extremely difficult and lays out certain ways that employers can achieve diversity that refer to adapted recruitment processes and physically altering the workplace environment. Such changes aim to help make employees from diverse groups feel more comfortable and valued at work. Encouraging employee collaboration is another way to achieve such a feeling of being valued, as it allows workers from a wide range of backgrounds to forge meaningful relationships. Employees will value their co-workers and their company more, meaning that employee retention rates are likely to be higher because employees are less likely to want to change jobs.

Wellbeing initiatives

Aspire’s report details how wellbeing has become more of a focus for the worker in recent years. The millennials’ expectation to receive benefits from their company are rapidly becoming the norm for other diverse groups too. Aspire’s survey found that 40% were unsatisfied with their wellbeing benefits, pay and progression opportunities, and that this would lead them to leave their job.

Wellbeing initiatives focused on physical and mental health are perceived as more important than ever. Such initiatives could include offering counselling, arranging team expeditions, and cycle-to-work schemes to promote a healthy work-life. As a result, wellbeing makes a workforce more motivated and engaged with the work they are producing. This translates into happy workers, which equals higher productivity and ethos, resulting in improved retention.

Aspire’s report offers not only interesting food for thought, but tangible and practical advice on how to be a competitive business in 2019. By understanding how the world of work is shifting, one can avoid getting left behind and overcome the recruitment and retention challenge.

Via Forbes : What Does Millennial Loyalty Look Like In Today’s Workplace?

Although common wisdom will tell you Millennials are looking to switch jobs at the first possible chance, Millennial loyalty has not shaken up the workplace as much as people think.

In fact, the generation prior to Millennials stayed in their roles for roughly the same amount of time as Millennials are now. In the 1980s, an employee stayed with their employer for a median of five years and that figure has remained steady with a median of 4.2 years in 2018.

So, what has changed that makes people feel like loyalty is fading? What can employers do to increase that longevity and get the best out of their talent while they are staying?

A deeper perspective

In order to determine the differences in loyalty between current and past generations, we need to take a deeper look at the current social and economic environment.

For one, the job search is undoubtedly harder — graduate roles are competitive, with more higher education institutions producing more and more graduates each year. Hiring is more process-driven and less personable, and added perks, such as being wined and dined or taken on enticing trips, are few and far between. This creates a frustrating and intense job market and undoubtedly affects the workplace mindset.

There is also a hangover from the last Global Financial Crisis that society has not seen the full impact of yet. Millennials at the younger end of the spectrum (born 1987–1992) remain in a mindset of an anxiety-ridden job search from their graduation, where they are forced to keep one eye open for fear of job security, experience long recruiting processes and poor feedback as standard from companies.

This group is typically formed of people who were students during the crisis, and the recession did not have the same emotional and working-life impact on them as it did on those in the working world. While this is often perceived as entitlement and lack of understanding of Millennials by their employers, it is actually the employer’s response to this hangover by companies in their hiring and firing process that have somewhat of an impact on Millennials’ job attitudes.

Society has also become more mobile and work has become more ingrained in your with personal life. Work is life now for many; it has to be both because of the competitive job market and the way interpersonal interactions have increased in speed and number with new technology. The pressure to perform and to excel is constant—and Millennials feel this more than anyone because of the intensity of social media visibility and the tight job market.

So what do Millennials want?

Contrary to public perceptions, Millennials are efficient, driven and focused. While older generations may have frustrations with Millennials’ demands, what they don’t understand is that those demands are a byproduct of millennials rejecting the norms and processes that have now passed.

It is no wonder that more forward-thinking companies, particularly those in the high-growth mode and sexy sectors, have produced workplace campuses. They align with the college experience (for people who found stability there during a global period of financial instability) that ultimately promote more working in a lower-stress environment. Free lunches, social events, and pool tables on the surface encourage greater connectivity, but also create underlying incentives to spend more time at work.

While cozy hangout areas and football tables are nice, employees don’t leave the thousands of organizations lacking those things because of that. So, for the generation that supposedly wants it all yesterday with no effort, what do Millennials really want in the workplace?

Meaning

The deeper key is meaning. Meaningful work consistently ranks as something craved by the millennial generation. That can take lots of forms – giving back to the community, having a voice, the feeling that you are pushing a project forward and being taken seriously by those around you. Meaningful work doesn’t necessarily mean saving the world, solving a crisis or finding a cure. It means purpose and passion. It’s a sense of ownership and importance—and surely that is a good thing. Why wouldn’t an employer want somebody working on a project with them who values their work and puts effort into everything they do?

Meaning also extends into the way Millennials think about work and life. Corporate attire is no longer expected everywhere; no longer do all meetings happen face to face. Millennials are okay with integrating work and life—they just want that integration to be meaningful and enjoyable.

Given meaningful work, the Millennial workforce will show passion and dedication—giving workplaces the opportunity to offer Millennials a real trajectory and a chance to grow and stay. The misunderstanding about Millennials that they are entitled and lazy comes from unfair projections. If they are in the weeds doing a good job, they want more of that. Else they will go—it’s a mobile generation in all sense of the word.

How can I foster Millennial loyalty without completely changing my company?

Not every role or organization can be mission-driven, so how can you get your best out of your people? It takes a two-tiered approach that encourages both meaningful, mission-driven work, and an enjoyable culture and workplace.

Here are some simple changes that encourage more meaningful work:

  • Provide formal training to unite all employees in company mission
  • Consider a formal career track that sets clear, attainable targets for promotion and gives direction that is fair and equal
  • Create reverse mentoring programs to give younger employees a voice that is recognized by leadership
  • Actively engage different segments of your organization to come together at different points, who would not naturally do so in their day to day work. This can promote idea sharing and process improvement, whilst allowing people to contribute.

    And some low-cost methods to create a more enjoyable environment:

  • Casual dress codes (business attire is changing)
  • Shorter days (work can often be compacted)
  • Remote working (give people more flexibility in how and when they get their work done)

Lead by example. If you implement these changes, be sure to avoid putting in place arbitrary policies that do not mirror your behavior.

Whether your people stay or go, create a company culture that people want to return to each day. If you do, your employees can recommend your organization to their network, further increasing your pool of talent. Give honest feedback and turn the employee/employer relationship into a two-way dialogue and career road map. Millennials want honesty.

The reality is that motivations have not drastically changed; the language has just evolved a bit, like every generation before.

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