Embracing the Generation of Corporate Movement: MillennialsAugust 25, 2015
Much has been said about millennials in the workforce today.
Critics deride them as entitled, immature products of parents who monitored them too closely. Proponents argue that millennials bring a breath of fresh air to the workforce through their creativity, rejection of conventional boundaries, and skill with technology.
The important facts about Millennials:
- In 2015 Millennials eclipsed Generation X to take over the largest share of the U.S. workforce. (PEW Research Center)
- Millennials are on the move: over 90% of millennials expect to stay at a job for less than three years. (Forbes)
This provides a challenge for managers in HR and sales. How can today's companies invest money and time into onboarding Millennials when there's a good chance they will be out the door in just a couple of years?
The answer is to change the way you view your employees, both past and present.
Rethinking your relationship with the generation of movement
If you want to make sure that your Generation Y employees stay around longer and improve the mutual benefits of their tenure at the firm, there are three key shifts in your thinking that must be made:
- Build lifelong relationships. Showing Millennial employees, alumni and prospective hires that you care about their careers even if they aren't a part of the organization speaks volumes about your corporate brand and helps you become a desirable workplace, which makes employees less likely to leave in the first place. Even if they do, long-lasting relationships also improve your chances of re-hiring your high-potential alumni, which saves time and money during the recruiting process.
- Enable the transfer of diverse types of knowledge. Research shows that 10% of workforce learning comes from courses and reading, 20% comes from the transfer of knowledge, and 70% comes from on-the-job experience. Mentoring combines the transfer of knowledge with on-the-job experience to comprise 90% of worker learning. When your Generation Y employees are gaining knowledge on a broad level, you help them learn new areas of the business, keeping them engaged and making them less likely to depart. If they do decide to change roles, they may be able to find a new function within the company instead of leaving altogether. With a strong corporate mentoring program that properly matches mentors and measures success, you can make sure your mentees are not just gaining knowledge, but gaining the right types of knowledge.
- Create reverse mentoring programs. Mentoring is no longer a one-way relationship in which an older, more experienced person bestows years of knowledge upon a green recruit. Millennials have lots of valuable skills that they can teach to their Baby Boomer and Generation X managers. Reverse mentoring builds strong relationships within the company and empowers Millennials, two outcomes that are extremely important when it comes to retaining workers from generation Y.
The Final Word on Handling Millennial Movement
You'll never be able to stop every high-potential employee from leaving the organization. But by cultivating good relationships with your employees even after they leave, diversifying and improving the transfer of knowledge within the company, and empowering your millennial workers, you can greatly reduce the impact of the "movement generation" on your business.For a tailored demo that shows you how Insala's mentoring or alumni management software can help you accomplish these goals, click here.
How Millennials Fit into a Diverse Workplace
How Mentoring Can Help Increase Retention with Millennials
Mentoring Millennial Leaders
How to Retain Your Millennials (and Why You Should Care)