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Four tips on attracting and keeping millennial employees

Jonathon Kofler, Head of Marketing at Access Self Storage 

Millennials are stereotyped as job hoppers with no loyalty to the companies they work for – switching employers in a bid to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible. However, this may be a myth.

One recent study found that nearly 90 percent of millennials are actually looking to grow their careers within their current companies. Another report found that 77 percent of millennials would be willing to take a salary cut in exchange for long-term job security. However, this doesn’t mean you can take the loyalty of millennials for granted; they have unique expectations and attitudes which you must handle if you want to make good use of their various skills and aptitudes.

By 2020, millennials will make up a third of the global workforce. It’s essential that you know how to get the best out of them; with the right care and attention, they can become loyal brand ambassadors and be a key part of your business as it grows. Here are some key tips on attracting – and keeping – millennial employees.

 Harnessing millennial passion 

According to a survey carried out by Cone Communications, 3 in 4 millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company, compared with 55% average across all ages. In fact, almost two-thirds would not accept a job from a company without a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) model.

Millennials are a passionate bunch and feeling that they are working for a good cause will improve productivity and turn them into great believers in your brand. Developing a strong CSR strategy will help you attract and keep them, as well as harnessing philanthropic intentions across your organisation. It’s a win-win.

Regular check-ins 

According to a study by FTI Consulting, two fifths of high-achieving millennials want greater responsibility in people management within their current role. However, millennials often have their own set of anxieties associated with coming-of-age in an unstable economy with an inconsistent job market. It’s important to strike a balance between giving millennials independence and responsibility and providing support when needed.

Regular check-ins, with an appropriate balance between positive feedback and constructive criticism, as well as clearly-defined goals, can help millennials succeed and feel as if they are valued.

Similarly, millennials place value on being regularly rewarded for hard work. A quarterly, rather than yearly, bonus system could work in your favour, as could regular salary reviews based on performance.

 Training and development

Millennials are the generation that want to better themselves, and so training and development is important. Nearly all (87%) of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as being important to them in a job. If you can ensure that the training is relevant to both your business and your employee, you’re on to a winner – you’ll be building skills that are specific to your needs, and you’ll create more trust with your employees.

The best way to do this is to speak to your staff and ask them how they want to develop. It’s also worth asking how they want training to be delivered – whether it’s via reading material, lectures, audiobooks, interactive quizzes or hands-on tasks. This will give them a sense of control over the training and could work to their strengths.

The all-important workplace social 

Once upon a time, all you needed was to reserve at table at the pub and get all your employees in for a drink. But millennials are drinking less than ever, so bonding in the boozer might not be the best way to secure their trust and admiration. Work socials are still important, though. They’re crucial for team-building and boosting morale.

A recent study by Eventbrite found that more than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on an experience over buying something. They want to have experiences rather than physical things – think yoga, escape rooms, adventure trails, karaoke, murder mystery and sports events. There’s a whole industry dedicated to workplace bonding and social activities, so you won’t be short of ideas. Plus, these events make for great social media content.

Millennials are a more unique workforce than ever before. They’re hard-working and conscientious – they want to develop in their career and to continue learning. If you harness them correctly, the benefits to your business in the short and long term will be excellent.