Retaining the Millennial Workforce and Why It Matters

In just the past year, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation and started inching their way to making up the majority of the workforce. For HR professionals, this shift in the workforce can create a challenge, as Millennials are known for job hopping more than previous generations. In fact, Deloitte reports that if given the choice, one in four Millennials would quit his or her current job to do something different.

talent retention

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High turnover such as this can affect the morale of a company, as well as the bottom line. As such, HR teams are tasked with the critical job of developing programs and putting benefits in place that lower turnover rates and set their employees up for success as they grow with the organization. For the Millennial workforce in particular, there are a number of ways in which retention can be achieved.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

Retention starts from the first interaction a potential employee has with an organization. Before Millennial employees join a company, there are certain characteristics or benefits that attract them to it—be it company training programs or flexible work policies. And, these very attractions are often the same keys to retaining this age group.

One of the most valuable benefits that draws in Millennial workers who are looking to grow their careers at an organization is work/life balance. They need to be able to picture a future at the company, and this includes having the ability to manage their time between work and home as they see fit, and as life changes occur.

Companies can meet this need by offering flexible work schedules, work-from-home policies, and job appraisals based on outcomes and deliverables. For some, work/life balance also means having the freedom to use technologies that empower their personal lives, such as social media and instant messaging, in the office. This is a win-win for employers, as encouraging the use of such technologies can also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.

Whether a company encourages employees to work from home when needed, or use Facebook to interact with both friends and colleagues, having a healthy work/life balance is essential. And by enabling and encouraging Millennials to have this balance of their lives, companies can also enhance their culture, which is another key factor in retaining employees.

Company Culture and Growth

While having a healthy work/life balance is a key ingredient for a positive company culture, it’s also important that the company cultivates a “sense of purpose” for its employees. According to Unlocking Millennial Talent 2015, 60% of Millennials said a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work with their current employer. They want to feel utilized and valued, and know that the contributions they make to the organization day in and day out matter.

To create this feeling, companies should look to invest in these young employees. This can include encouraging employees’ development by providing ongoing training for both skills associated with their current job, and even the opportunity to learn new areas of the business they find interesting.

It can also include making team-building programs and exercises a standard practice so that employees create bonds with one another to help make it feel like a true team. By showing employees that they are valued and contribute to the company as well as their own development, the organization can shape these individuals into future leaders—ultimately, ensuring company success.

Millennials also find it highly important as to how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there. In appealing to this generation, many companies today empower employees to come up with new ideas, put a team together, and pitch their ideas to the executive team or “judges.” Some companies have yearly competitions with monetary prizes to encourage innovation.

Once the idea is approved, the team dedicates time to turning the idea into something that benefits the company. Millennials want to create, contribute, and innovate. The idea of intrapreneurship, behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization, resonates with this generation.

As the Millennial workforce continues to grow, it’s important for HR teams to put programs and policies in place to attract and recruit this talented pool of employees, while also retaining them—by creating flexible work schedules, engaging them, and offering ongoing training. By doing so, companies will see lower turnover rates while ensuring their own success as they enable these young workers to grow with the organization.

Tali Rabin, SVP, Human Resources, joined CGS in 2016, bringing more than 20 years of Human Resources and business operations experience. At CGS, she provides strategic and tactical thought leadership on such matters as Organizational Development, Employee Engagement, Change Management, Workforce Planning, Diversity, and Employee Relations. Reporting into the CEO, Rabin leads a team that is responsible for strengthening the talent development function globally.

With global experience in HR and management, Rabin has led HR in various technology companies more than 2 decades, including Opera Solutions, NICE Systems, Nortel Networks, and Sapiens. Her strategic and results-driven focus has transformed and turned around such organizations as publicly traded companies, startups, and companies going through M&A.

Rabin majored in Business Management, specializing in Human Resources. She also completed a certificate program in Directorship and Leadership in the Recanati School of Business Management at Tel Aviv University.