How to Keep Millennials Happy and Engaged at Work

With millennials currently representing over 35% of the total UK workforce, their influence is quickly defining the workplace culture. Their aspirational nature and knowledge of current technologies make them a vital part of any company. As millennials slowly outnumber Generation X and the retiring Baby Boomers, their presence will only become even more indispensable to all organisations in the future – alongside their successors Generation Z.

However, millennials, also known as Generation Y, are no longer afraid of changing jobs. In fact, it is estimated that 60% of millennials are open to the idea of new job opportunities, and more than half don’t believe that they will be working for their current company in the next two years.

With the average millennial costing companies a lot of of money to replace, high millennial turnover can become a costly affair.

So how can you stop your millennials getting itchy feet and leaving, when you desperately need them to stay?

Here are eight proven techniques for keeping millenials happy and engaged at work, based on figures from the latest market reports.

1. Set out clear career paths

According to the Millennials at Work report, over half of millennials believe that career progression is the most important aspect of a job.

Millennials are ambitious and want to succeed. The reality is that those who feel ‘stuck’ in a job are likely to go looking elsewhere. After all, one of the top three reasons millennials quit their job is to pursue a role that offers more career opportunities.

The companies who succeed in retaining their millennials tend to have a training and progression plan in place, with clear goals for staff to meet to get promoted. In a recent survey by Robert Walters, 69% cited that a clear path for progression and training in a company was critical to keeping them motivated at a job.

2. Offer better training and development programs

Following on from the point above, millennials want to constantly improve and do better. They love success and need the tools to help them get there. Offering your staff adequate training opportunities will not only benefit your business, but will also make staff feel like you care and that they are improving and developing within their current roles.

how to keep millennials happy at work

3. Offer competitive salaries

Progression and promotion need to be met with salaries that reflect success. The ambitious millennial generation ranks pay more highly than past generations, with 25% claiming they would change job if they got offered a higher salary.

The internet and sites like Glassdoor have made salary information much more transparent, and your employees can now compare their salary with your competitors’ as well as the marketplace going rate. Offering less than other companies may mean you lose valuable members of staff to your competitors.

4. Give your employees recognition

Ambitious millennials want their hard work to be recognised and appreciated. Having regular appraisals and offering feedback is a great way to keep them engaged and help them progress and achieve their set goals.

5. Give them accountability

Millennials have grown up being told that they can achieve anything they want to achieve. They thrive on being given more responsibility and delivering results. Companies who succeed at retaining their millennial staff don’t take this characteristic for granted, and instead focus on giving them as much accountability as they wish for.

6. Be flexible

Companies are increasingly offering their staff flexi-time and the opportunity to work from home, in order to please their younger workforce. If your company tends to be quite rigid when it comes to work-life balance, staff could potentially be tempted by alternative jobs offers. In fact, a work-life balance is one of the top requirements millennials look for when choosing a job.

Offering employees flexi-time means they can work their 37.5 hours when they feel most motivated, and in turn will help them attain a better work-life balance. Flexi-time can also benefit employers, as rested and less stressed employees tend to be the most productive ones. However, saying that, this style is not always possible for all working environments.

7. Create a nice work culture

Good workplace culture is key when millennials are evaluating whether they are happy at work, or not. To understand what job perks employees value the most, take a look at our article The best job perks to attract candidates.

8. Welcome feedback and take it on board

Conducting employee engagement surveys every six months gives staff the opportunity to anonymously flag up any issues and to give recommendations.  Take this information on board, and make sure the employees feel listened to. This, as we have seen, is especially important for millennials.

And finally, when staff do leave, don’t forget to conduct an exit interview and ask them the reasons for leaving and how their experience could have been improved. This may be the answer to improving your retention rate.

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