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.
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?
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.
Via People Matters : Millennial workplaces: How to make your work culture exciting for the new gen
So as demographics shift, it’s clear that workplaces need to adapt to changing priorities and interests. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your work culture appeals to the millennial.
Millennials today make up 38 percent of the global workforce. This group of 22-37 year olds come with their own preferences and workplace ethics, which are unlike any generation preceding them. Here’s why — while studies show that 50 percent would quit if they were not happy with company culture, 90 percent would like to grow within a single company.
So as demographics shift, it’s clear that workplaces need to adapt to changing priorities and interests. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your work culture appeals to the millennial.
Establish a healthy work-life balance – Millennials are all about striking the right balance between work and play. Sure they want to be successful, but they’re not willing to give up on quality of life in pursuit of that goal. In fact, 80 percent of them believe loyalty to a company comes from a flexible work situation, in which they are encouraged to spend time to pursue a passion outside of work. To this end, a reasonably generous leave policy, permission to work from home where life situations demand, and fun outings allow your people to cool off.
Create a unique office environment – Google made the news recently for adding slides to their American offices, and Infosys made waves with a bowling alley. To put it simply, traditional office layouts and rules are yesterday’s news. Break the desk-chair monotony with beanbags, swings, and colorful couches — you’ll be surprised at how much it livens up both your space and your people. However, don’t stop at just furniture. Millennials are more likely to fit into a company that gives them a one-of-a-kind experience. So, offer facilities such as snooker tables, monthly massages, and sandwich stations at work, and watch the environment transform. All it takes is just a little creativity and most companies now have similar perks today. I am seeing more and more of this in Bangalore. In fact, Pink Lemonade was among the first companies to start spa treatments and Friday fun snacks and now I see every company on our street providing similar perks to their people.
Shatter the ‘perks’ myth – While these perks work well, snacks, games, and team trips aren’t the only things keeping millennials in their jobs. These must be complemented with meaningful initiatives that make a difference in their work lives on a daily basis. For example, allowing team members to bring their kids to work whenever needed, and even pets, shows your people that you are willing to make the adjustments needed for them to be at their most productive. Supplement these with experiences like the occasional dance session, game tournament, concert, or hobby-based workshop, and you have a culture in which your people feel truly valued. In fact, there are a number of service providers who are successfully providing such services to corporate organizations that want to give their people a taste of some non-work down-time!
Offer meaning alongside regular work – Everyone wants to feel like they’re making a difference. To this end, giving your people meaningful work and getting them involved in Corporate Social Responsibility can give them the motivation they need — which is why technology powerhouses Microsoft and Intel have developed some of the world’s best CSR programs. In addition to this, companies could organize a ‘month of giving’, where team members came together to cook food and distribute the same to the underprivileged communities. Clothing collection drives and volunteering opportunities are also great ways to give back to the world you live in and to let your people be part of something bigger than themselves. In Bangalore, there are a couple of organizations that have helped put together carefully planned programs like this — Humane Universal Good Deed Network (HUG) — is one where food donation is easily supported. Step Up works with many corporate enterprises to have people volunteer time to teach English in government schools.
Encourage employee growth and development – You can choose to be a detached and impersonal employer, or you can show dedication to your people by encouraging their growth at every level of their careers. Take an active interest in our people’s personal and professional development by offering an employee-driven learning series and company-sponsored courses for upskilling and improvement. Invest in your people — because more often than not, development of your team means development of your company.
Across the world, millennials are becoming a greater part of the workforce every day, and it is important for a company to value their expectations and goals. You will soon discover these simple changes you incorporate to stay in tune with this generation are highly beneficial to their general happiness, and in turn, to the growth and progress of your company.
Via Forbes : Trying To Reach The Modern Millennial? Avoid These 14 Ineffective Marketing Tactics
Millennials make up a significant portion of the consumer market, and companies are still trying hard to appeal to this population—some with more success than others. Marketing tactics that have worked in the past simply may not be effective when trying to reach this particular generation, especially since most of them have now entered adulthood.
You may be wondering how your company can adjust its strategy to appeal to the modern millennial. To help you, we asked 14 members of Forbes Coaches Council which marketing tactics you should avoid when trying to reach this group. According to our expert panel, here’s what doesn’t work, and what you can do instead.
1. Framing A Job As A Paycheck
Many companies put emphasis on sharing the perks to appeal to millennials. However, what they deeply care about, based on research, is the social impact of businesses. Also, for them, a job is no longer a paycheck but an experience, a venue for growth and a platform to hatch their purpose. So, if companies could shift the focus on their true needs, they will win millennials’ hearts and minds. – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC
2. Only Relying On Traditional Advertising Methods
Traditional advertising methods such as radio, newspaper and print ads will not reach them, as those methods are considered intrusive. Millennials are constantly connected with their Twitter feed and don’t read newspapers. You need to constantly evaluate evolving technology and how millennials are consuming information to get their attention. – Jan Molino, Aspire Ascend
3. Overselling Your Product
Millennials follow brands that they trust. They build emotional connections with brands that are authentic and aligned with their values. Companies should avoid overly pushing a product by just calling out the attributes of that product. Instead, companies should build an emotional connection and tell the story of that product, its values and how it’s changing the lives of others. – Lulu Curiel, Ivy Advisors
4. Prioritizing Ads Over Social Media
Instead of studying a company’s web page and reading about it in the news, millennials tend to have a look at a potential employer’s company page on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. If your page is boring or doesn’t showcase much about your culture, story, values and employees, chances are that millennials won’t apply. So, don’t focus on your web page and ads, focus on great social media content. – Dr. Natalia Wiechowski, Think Natalia
5. Treating Them Like Teenagers
Millennials are young, but they aren’t dumb. Talking to millennials through the lens of a teenager on social media is the fastest way to alienate this demographic. When companies try to grab on to pop culture by using terms like “bae” and “feels,” they minimize their organization’s brand while simultaneously devaluing the pool they hope to attract. Millennials are adults. Treat them as such. – Jeanna McGinnis, Mentor Happy
6. Calling Them ‘Millennials’
In my conversations, millennials have expressed their dislike for the millennial label, which they feel is often more negative than positive. With such a large population group (millennials will make up half of the U.S. workforce by 2020), painting this entire generation with one brush can be a costly mistake. – Eric Beaudan, Odgers Berndtson
7. Pigeonholing Them Based On Their Generation
To be honest, it is hard to talk about attracting talent when candidates are put in one pigeonhole and are treated as a mass. “Millennials.” What does it really mean? Instead of thinking about generations, companies might think about a person’s uniqueness, starting from investigating who they want to hire, through a well-defined job description, and finishing with an engaging interview. – Inga Bielińska, Inga Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring
8. Failing To Highlight Your Corporate Values
The biggest pitfall with multigenerational marketing is making assumptions about groups of people. Instead of labeling millennials and putting them in a box, it’s preferable to highlight the values of the organization that might resonate with them. Set an aspirational vision and a healthy corporate culture where individuals can learn, grow and thrive at work and at home and the talent will follow. – Carolina Caro, Carolina Caro
9. Being Formal And Exclusive
Exciting and inspiring millennials to join your company means your look and feel, as well as the substance and experience you create via your website and other materials, should feel expansive, to the point, inclusive and more informal. The way you talk about your company needs to be easily consumed, relatable and have personality. Transparency, storytelling and being human are the keys. – Kathryn Gorges, Essentials³
10. Not Giving Them A Voice
If you want to appeal to millennials then give them a voice. People want to be heard without fear of losing their livelihood. An open and robust exchange of ideas without repercussions will help millennials thrive and help any organization achieve their stated objectives, as well as grow the next generation of leaders. – Jorge Gutierrez, BMOC Group
11. Trying Too Hard To Recruit Them
Millennials don’t want to be marketed to and see it as a turnoff, even when it comes to employment. They are a savvy bunch that is big on connecting. You’ll do that best by going where they go with the authority of an influencer. Don’t be afraid to go deep and engage the influencer to gain traction on creating a workplace that resonates with your target so you can walk the walk. – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International
12. Writing Boring Job Posts
Write job posts to share your culture and the opportunity from the millennial point of view (communicate how they can create, develop, evolve and grow). Posts that are laundry lists listing deliverables and performance expectations are a turnoff and show a culture that will suffocate a millennial. Showcase your purpose and help them understand how they will be empowered and welcomed. – Christy Geiger MCC, CPCC, Synergy Strategies Coaching & Training
13. Assuming They Care About Your Company’s Prestige And History
Millennials are naturally self-interested, in both good and bad ways, depending. Market to the opportunity for them to grow. Don’t assume they care about the prestige of the company, its history or invoke any kind of loyalty, sacrifice or “leave your ego at the door” ideas. The messaging needs to be about what the employer can do for them, and you must deliver with mentoring. – Josef Shapiro, Clear and Open
14. Being Closed Off To Change
To avoid detracting millennials through your marketing campaigns, you have to show that you are a company that looks to innovate and impact the greater good. You cannot seem like a company that is closed off or unwilling to change or your company will not be able to attract this new generation of employees. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience