Has a survey’s title ever made you stop and question your life choices? No? Just me, huh?
I recently sat down to read Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey and saw this year’s main takeaway—two thirds of millennials express a desire to leave their organization by 2020. Really? Two-thirds?
I am about to celebrate my TENTH anniversary as an Oliver Russell employee. That’s a long time to spend at one employer for any age group these days, but even stranger for a card-carrying member of the millennial workforce. To add to that, I don’t see myself changing jobs in the near future.
That’s when the questions and doubt started flooding my mind—do I lack initiative? Why am I content to stay at the job I landed one month post-college? What do my peers know that I don’t?
I managed to keep scrolling before my fingers were debilitated with self-doubt. After reading the survey and seeing why my peers were looking to switch gigs, I found out it’s not me—it’s their employers. Lucky for me (and my coworkers), Oliver Russell already offers what these other millennials are searching for—factors that have really contributed to my overall workplace satisfaction and longevity with the company.
Why Should You Care?
Millennials make-up the US’s largest segment of the workforce, so their trend towards career mobility should be a serious concern for employers. Onboarding an employee is a large expense—so it’s worth your time figuring out what millennials want from their employers. Below are the conclusions Deloitte drew (and I happen to agree with, based on my own moment of panic and self-reflection).
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Support their leadership ambitions Millennials value leadership skills and see it as a prized skill they want/need to develop—but they don’t feel their employers are willing to provide support/training or let them take on leadership roles. When a millennial felt like their employer was helping them hone their leadership skills (through training or mentorship) they reported feeling more loyal and willing to stay at the organization longer.
Treat your employees well Millennials believe that the two main factors to determine an organization’s long-term success are employee satisfaction/fair treatment and a solid foundation of trust and integrity. They believe that they should be treated well (fair pay, work/life balance, opportunities for advancement) and they are not afraid to move-on if these needs are not being met.
Have a purpose beyond profit
Millennials want to contribute to the positive impact they believe business has on society. Shared values beyond the pursuit of profit help strengthen loyalty. Solidifying your organization's dedication to purpose through a third-party accreditation like becoming a Certified B Corp and/or Public Benefit Corporation helps your employees know your commitment is not just lip service.
Offer flexible work situations
Being trusted to work remotely is a desire that 88% of millennials have, but only 43% of their current jobs allowed them to do so. Letting employees choose the environment they feel most productive in, and entrusting them to work flexible hours, feels like a simple way to meet a millennial on their terms.
Listen to them
Millennials are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction where there is a creative, inclusive working culture. For many millennials this meant they had open communications with their supervisors—including discussing new ways and approaches to working.
Help them feel in control of their careers
According to Deloitte, millennials who express being in control of their career path also tend to “work for organizations that support their ambitions, align with their values, feature a collaborative and trust-based working culture, and have a strong sense of purpose.” So, heeding lessons 1-5 listed above actually helps millennials feel like they are in control of their careers—and that results in increased job satisfaction and loyalty.
Millennial Employees Want Companies to Commit to Good.
Between being a Certified B Corp and a Public Benefit Corporation, Oliver Russell has made a commitment to use business as a force for good. When we were awarded a Best in the World for Workers by B Lab (the nonprofit behind B Corps), it helped solidify in my mind how valued we are as employees. And maybe it’s that appreciation, paired with the knowledge that your daily efforts are making a positive impact in the world, that helps you feel in control of your career.
As senior producer, Shawna's job is to work with the client, orchestrate a network of resources, and deliver the project on time and on budget. She guides Fortune 50 clients such as Hewlett-Packard at the same time she’s helping a scrappy startup like MealTicket. Positive, professional, and a bona-fide people person, Shawna knows how to earn clients’ trust—not just because of who she is, but also because she flat-out gets it done.