123rf52953194 largeBy now you have heard a little about employees in the Millennial Generation and their importance to the workforce. Millennials were born between 1980-1999, and can range in age from young adults to those in their early 30s. Progressive thinkers are starting to consider the impact of this generation on their specific companies, as Millennials will make up the predominant group in the workforce in fewer than five years. [quotes]Does your company have a strategy to attract and retain the best and the brightest young professionals? [/quotes]

Companies are now tasked with creating a multi-generational office environment that engages all employees, while keeping up with the latest technology. Regardless of your industry, technology is a key factor in your company’s development and human capital management. Millennials embrace technology in all aspects of their lives, including their job search. According to Snagajob, 71 percent of Millennials have used a mobile device during their job search and 57 percent have searched for jobs using social media. In order to compete for top, young talent, your company must be effectively utilizing technology.

Attracting Millennial employees is just the tip of the iceberg. To be successful as an organization, you must also have programs in place to engage and retain them. According to a study conducted by Dan Schawbel’s Millennial Branding company:

87 percent of companies reported it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each Millennial employee they lose. Considering that approximately 40 percent of companies currently employ 50 or more Millennial workers, these costs are expected to rise dramatically over the years to come. With current data showing more than 60 percent of Millennials leaving their company in less than three years, employers are facing a very expensive revolving door.

Cutting the cost of Millennial turnover is a high priority for human resources departments across the U.S., because [quotesright]organizations are losing millions of dollars in recruiting and training expenses. [/quotesright] They are also wasting time and energy hiring employees that are not a good fit for their open positions. Despite having a large financial impact their bottom line, most companies still do not have a strategic plan in place to minimize turnover of Millennial employees.

[quotes]So why do Millennials quit their jobs?[/quotes] The answers can be very complex and tend to vary by industry. Sure Millennials have received a reputation for being impatient, selfish, and having a poor work ethic but there are less than flattering stereotypes of every generation.

Like each generation before them, their mindset is completely unique. We’ve researched and analyzed many studies and surveys conducted on Millennial employees to find out what factors they consider non-negotiable. These aspects were assessed, in order to create this report of 7 Truths Your Millennial Employees Won’t Tell You…Before They Quit. Where could some of these truths apply to your organization?

#7 I don’t have a voice.

Collaboration is of high importance to Millennials. It’s not enough to limit your communication to the occasional email. Receiving useable feedback and having face-to-face conversations helps Millennials grow and improve. When asked to describe their ideal collaboration scenario, Millennials identified several key traits:

  • 90 percent prefer in-person meetings over conference calls,
  • 74 percent of respondents prefer to collaborate in small groups to generate big ideas, and
  • Despite this need for personal connections, only half of Millennials surveyed believe that their company emphasizes such interactions.

When Millennial employees do not believe they have an impact on their work environment, they don’t feel valued and become disconnected from their employer. [quotesright]This disenchantment can turn into resentment, leading them to start looking for the next opportunity. [/quotesright]

#6 There is no room for advancement here.

Millennials are very resourceful and take note of a company’s organizational structure. They will catch on quickly if new employees are brought in from the outside to fill highly desired management positions. This is where the mindset of Millennials varies sharply. Unlike previous generations, there is limited appeal in working many years at a company with the hope that you get promoted someday in the future.

[quotesright]Millennials grew up watching stock market crashes, huge industry bailouts, and the recession.[/quotesright] Seeing millions of people lose their jobs without warning along with the Enron scandal, have lead to some distrust of “big business.” Millennials are well aware that the days when people worked 30 years for one company and retired with a substantial 401K are long gone! They are looking to advance within a company; if there is not room for growth, Millennials will begin to think of their position as temporary.

#5 The company’s values are not aligned with my values.

Socially conscious is one way to describe Millennials. Many of them grew up volunteering and being involved with social causes. Their individual values could play a large role in determining how long to stay with their employer. Along with the general distrust of large companies, Millennials tend to look down on businesses whose sole purpose is to make a lot of money and don’t care about their employees.

[quotesright]Millennials are often described as overly idealistic, but they tend to see it asbeing focused on the greater good and having a high sense of morality.[/quotesright] This becomes an issue when they notice a stark contrast between their values and their employer’s values. The bottom line is that corruption, disrespect, and ruthlessness aren’t traits this generation will tolerate for extended periods of time.

#4 A competitor is offering me more money and more flexibility.

123rf24393154 smallAstute executives are open to finding leaders who will be the future of their organization. Many companies are very competitive in recruiting top young professionals, and are willing to offer more money, flexible working schedules and compensation packages. According to The Cost of Millennial Retention Study, 30 percent of Millennials leave because “they received a better offer from another company.”

Bonus and profit sharing programs are particularly attractive incentives to Millennials, who would like to be financially rewarded for outstanding performance sooner rather than later. Including merit-based pay raises are also helpful in improving and maintaining staff morale. [quotesright]If you are not sufficiently compensating a high caliber young professional, someone else will. [/quotesright]

#3 Leadership is out of touch and preoccupied.

It’s extremely important to provide resources and support to middle management and executives leading teams of Millennials. [quotes]Generational differences can cause miscommunication and frustration on both sides. [/quotes] While the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers tend to favor structure and an authoritative leadership style, Millennials prefer a collaborative work environment. When surveying Millennials who didn’t think their company was innovative, 49 percent believed poor management was dragging their company down.3

Young professionals value leaders who are productive and inspire them. They look to their managers for instruction and coaching to improve their performance. Millennials will begin searching for a more positive working environment if there is a disconnect between them and the leadership team.

#2 I’m overworked; there is no balance.

Due to rapid advances in technology, many positions within companies become obsolete. Constant staff downsizing is another reality of the workplace today, which often leads to one employee handling the duties of two or three jobs! Some organizations take it a step further and eliminate an upper-level position (and salary) only to place those responsibilities on a young professional in a lower level position without increasing their pay!

[quotesright]It’s no surprise that many Millennials feel overworked,[/quotesright] causing other areas of their life, health, and relationships to suffer. A high priority is placed on work-life balance because Millennials believe there is more to life than money and an executive title. Millennials want to pursue their passions and special interests, which can even be at the expense of formal employment. Overworking your young professionals is one of the sure-fire ways to have them quit.

#1 I would stay, if you valued me.

123rf45904099 large[quotes]Millennials enjoy feeling like part of a team with a strong purpose. [/quotes] Social networks, clubs, and other meet-up groups are very popular and help instill a sense of value and belonging. Some have described Millennials as selfish, but however you chose to categorize them, feeling valued is of the upmost importance. This is similar to the experience people have in any association, from a friendship to a romantic relationship.

A company’s culture and how they communicate their appreciation for their employees, has a big impact on Millennials. [quotes]In this digital age, young professionals are not simply content to have a job,[/quotes] they are looking for a place to learn, grow, and make a contribution to society. Companies with management teams who do not have an effective communication style with Millennial employees, tend to see high turnover rates within their organizations. They are not able to engage their top young talent, so their Millennials quit.

Millennials are a new breed of employees with their own distinct mindset. They are not overly trusting of companies, big business, or the government. Often labeled as having a “me-first” mentality, Millennials have a strong tendency to look out for themselves due to the economic crises they’ve witnessed. As a result of these factors and the upbringing of their generation, [quotes]Millennials have no problem quitting a job[/quotes] if they are not satisfied, even if they’ve been employed less than a year.

The cost of replacing Millennial employees is a huge issue today. Soon they will be the predominant generation in the workforce, so companies must find a way to engage and retain these young leaders who will be the face of their organizations in the future.

By reflecting on the seven truths outlined here, companies can consider how to address turnover rates and the leadership gap of their Millennials. It’s possible to put programs and systems in place that create a highly productive, multigenerational working environment. Millennial employees provide an innovative, entrepreneurial mindset and a quick ability to problem solve. [quotes]With the right engagement strategies, organizations can benefit from all Millennials have to offer[/quotes] while minimizing the negative effects of high employee turnover.

- 2016 09Porschia ParkerReprinted with permission, courtesy of Porschia Parker,
Founder of Fly High Coaching and the Millennial Performance Institute