Practices for Retaining Millennial Talent

Recently the “The 2016 Deloitte Milennial Survey” has revealed some alarming as well as surprising data for organizations on the Millennial generation: over 2016 one of every four Millennials would change jobs if offered a better opportunity at another company. Sampling 7,700 young people born after 1982 and from 29 countries, the consultancy’s report also points out that as the years go by, the percentage of Millennials intending to quit their job will grow to 44% in just a matter of two years and to 66% by 2020.

This “absence of loyalty among Millennials” poses a real challenge for organizations when it comes to retaining this key talent, as in just five years these will represent 40% of the worldwide workforce and 75% in just a decade.


Why this discontent?

According to the Millennial Survey, 63% complain that their leadership skills are not being developed. These Millennials also point to the lack of investment in innovation, lack of career plans, little flexibility, their work does not motivate them, nor do they feel valued by their superiors, friction with older generations, lack of transparency within organizations and corporate disinformation, among other factors.

To understand this group better and thus develop a loyalty strategy let’s review from our article, “Dissecting the Milennials” some of their major characteristics: digital natives, entrepreneurs, non-conformists, communicative, creative, love work flexibility, collaborative, and more.

Having reminded ourselves of the common denominators of the Millennial generation, and drawing from the Millennial Survey and other recent studies, let’s list some pactices that may motivate the Millennial talent force.

  • Values aligned with the company: according to the Millennial Survey, 65% claim that sharing the organization’s mission and vision is one of the motives for choosing one company or another. They would prefer to work in organizations that are socially responsible and more concerned about people than the purely financial aspects.
  • Work flexibility: as they are digital natives, they believe employees should be able to work from anywhere in the world anytime, i.e. they cannot conceive work to be done from the offices only or to fixed schedules. A recent PwC study revealed that 64% of Millennials prefer to work from home occasionally and 66% would like to manage their schedules themselves. The possibility of remote working in fact gives the Millennial workers a vote of confidence so they can become more involved in their projects and more engaged with the company.
  • Definition of a career plan:   While Baby Boomers and Generation X generally aspired to have a job for life, Millennials listen to their personal goals and desire to continue learning and progressing in their careers; forging a good professional career path (but not necessarily in the same company). However, even though they are considered “impatient”, they do not expect to move from junior to more senior positions overnight. They believe in a culture based on meritocracy, they need their work to be recognized with constant feedback (even weekly) and to feel that they are contributing to the company’s goals. Yet they do not want to stagnate and strive to achieve their goals agilely. That is why organizations must take into account that the race up the career ladder will be faster among Millennials and establish a career assessment plan to periodically review the work done.
  • This generation also gives special importance to training and they hope to continue learning and training on their jobs, as the PwC study, Millennials at work, points out, “The Millennials’ desire to learn and progress is apparent in their view of the benefits offered by employers.” When asked which benefits they would most value from an employer, the Millennial respondents ranked training and development top at 22% in this study. Given this, organizations must be open and make available to their workers new ways of learning such as personal learning environments, learning with gamification, learning communities… etc.
  • Mentoring programmes which allow them to grow profession Although most Millennials would like to be their own boss and start their own business, they appreciate the opportunity to learn from their managers, as well as Generation X and Baby Boomers, who they view more as mentors or coaches. Additionally mentoring programmes may be a good way to deal with possible generational tensions and an opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
  • Moreover, while taking into account the different demands and strategies that we can draw from to retain the Millennial generation, it is essential to have enabling HR technology to support us. Technology that is capable of segmenting our talent into groups and analyzing the specific needs of each one. Then apply to our Millennial talent pool the different evaluation, development and training strategies required, some of which we have already covered in this article.

All that’s left is to ask ourselves, are our organizations ready for the Millennials?

By Paloma Moreno de Carlos Sánchez de León, Social Media Specialist at Meta4.

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