60 Percent of Millennials Are Open to a New Job. Here’s How to Retain Them.

July 11, 2017

10:50 am

The latest numbers are in: According to a 2016 Gallup study, 60 percent of millennials are “open to new job opportunities,” and 21 percent had actually taken a new job within just the last year.

If the majority of the younger workforce is on the hunt for a new position, and a full fifth of them are actually taking a new job each year, legacy companies will need to address the churn. Krister Ungerboeck, coach at CEO Growth, had a few tips to offer in the tricky question of how to retain millennials.

Be Inclusive

Ensure that your workplace celebrates inclusivity by thinking of the needs of everyone, not just the statistical demographic of your own employees.

Research shows that millennials are much more progressive than their older peers, and they desire a workplace that feels inclusive, global and equitable. This means employers need to focus time and energy on sensitivity training, diversity hires, and changing employee handbooks and company-wide language to be gender non-specific. For example, when discussing parental leave, many companies are now opting to use the term ‘pregnant person’ instead of ‘pregnant woman,’ as the latter can be seen as trans-non-inclusive,” Ungerboeck says.

Encourage Transparent Communication

Make your decisions clear, though offering the context behind your decisions is also essential.

“Research shows that millennial workers last longer at jobs when they feel like there is open communication in the workplace. But not only do employers need to foster an environment in which honest feedback from team members is allowed, but they should reward employees for speaking up and sharing criticism. Your millennial workers need to not only be allowed to tell employers when their management style is problematic, but they also need to see and hear that their honesty is appreciated.”

And you won’t just retain millennials, either, as most people tend to value this trait.

Lay Off the Doughnuts

Be careful when providing snacks and drinks in your efforts to retain millennials.

“Millennials are much more health-conscious than their older peers. Gone are the days when a boss can come with a box of donuts without offending anyone. From gluten-free to vegan to low-carb to juice fasts, there are so many specific diets with which millennials experiment, so if you are going to offer food and drink in the office kitchen or at company parties, make sure that you are offering a wide variety of health-conscious foods with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options,” Ungerboeck says.

Of course, offering a few doughnuts won’t hurt.

Don’t Give Negative Feedback in a Group

To best retain millennials, don’t deliver negative feedback in meetings, where it can be seen as a public punishment of the “timeout” variety.

“Millennial workers may be more sensitive to ‘shaming’ management tactics than older workers, so if and when these younger employees make mistakes, it would behoove employers to discuss the issue in a private meeting rather than in a public environment,” according to Ungerboeck.

While we’re on the subject, the latest studies don’t even encourage treating your children to punishment-focused disciple.

Invest in Philanthropic Causes

If you create a philanthropic workplace, you’ll connect with those who feel there are more important issues in life than a paycheck.

“Recent findings show that millennials feel a larger responsibility for national and global issues, and to that end, they desire opportunities to be make a difference in their community. Employers can increase millennial satisfaction by spearheading philanthropic efforts, such as canned food drives, cancer runs, or even ‘adopting’ schoolchildren in war-torn countries. The staff can work together to raise money to send to these kids in need, which will not only have altruistic benefits, it will help to bond employees and divert petty disagreements,” Ungerboeck explains.

In short, workplaces should become more open and transparent, while showing they care about the things that matter. Follow all five of the tips above, and you should see plenty of contented millennials around for years to come.

Read more of the best tech business tips here at TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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