The millennial generation has been given a bad rap over the years. They’ve been labeled as lazy, entitled, spoiled, soft—in worst cases, all the above.
But when it comes to Millennials in the workforce, these brandings are inaccurate statements and overgeneralizations of younger, hardworking employees.
Setting the Record Straight.
Yes, one of the problems employers underscore when hiring Millennials is their high turnover rates. But as Millennial Workplace Expert Lindsey Pollak states in a blog post from 2016, “job hopping is an ‘everyone’ thing, not a millennial thing.” In fact, her research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics quotes “three million Americans quit their job in December 2015,” highlighting that all generations are part of the search for “greener grass”.
Contrary to common belief, however, young talent retention can be a reality—and it can be accomplished in similar ways as employers have traditionally done so in the past.
This generation, like all that have come before it, will stay where they feel valued.
Below are three reasons to invest in your younger employees—from the Millennial perspective.
1. We crave Mentorship.
Millennials want mentors and leaders to show them the ropes and teach them how to accomplish what it is they want to do. Last year, Forbes magazine reported that "mentorship is key to career success for young professionals." Just like their predecessors, Millennials want their leaders to invest in them, to tap into their potential. As author Venkatesh Rao states in a recent blog post, “human beings are odd assets: they acquire value the moment somebody believes in them.” From an “othering” perspective, it’s easy to forget that out-groups function (and fear) in the same ways as "we" do, collectively. Similar to how other generations have felt in the past, Millennials have the rest of their lives ahead of them—and that can be intimidating. A mentor can relieve most, if not all, of the pressures.
2. We want to learn.
In an increasingly globalized world, Millennials are constantly having to expand their own. And with social media as their playground, this generation knows no bounds. They crave new information and want to discover new ways of doing things. This can be frustrating when employers feel as though Millennials are “reinventing the wheel”. Providing leadership development and cross training (with an added layer of mentorship) satiates this craving for creativity and redirects energy to tasks that align with your goals.
3. We want success.
Everyone wants to feel accomplished, and this goes for the younger employees, too. They might not show it in ways other generations have, but they grew up in a slightly different world. Success no longer means graduating from college, landing a "nine-to-five," and settling down with a family. It can also be defined as getting discovered on social media, traveling the world (just because), owning a start-up, or being the next Mark Zuckerberg. As employers, success is defined within the confines of the organization, but for Millennials it also means including alternate measures from beyond its walls.
Simply put, this generation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Invest in it and it will invest in you.
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