Dr. Strangelabor or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Millennial
June 25th, 2018 by Patricia Dammann, VP Programs & Operations/OD Strategist at Institute of Organization Development
This blog was written by Patricia Dammann, VP Programs & Operations/OD Strategist at Institute of Organization Development. You can find the original article here.
Attracting and retaining millennials using a strategic talent management approach
It all started with a simple question to my buddy (high level manager with international financial institution). I wanted to know how he was managing millennials (that generation born between 1977 and 1997). “Aw”, he said, “they get a bad rap.” “These millennials are so smart, light years ahead of other generations in the application of technology for just about anything you can think of… They just need a lot of TLC, but it’s not the smothering kind of attention, but rather they need…” And he began to list some things and then expound on them. I’ve tried to capture his thoughts and those of other thought leaders so here goes- a few tips that that will leverage your organization’s ability to attract and retain your millennial workforce.
Let’s start with some basic assumptions. Millennials view work as a key part of life, not a separate activity that needs to be “balanced” by it. They want work to be a place where they can make friends and be a part of something bigger than themselves—they want to BELONG.
- Start millennials out on the “right foot”—ensure that you have a comprehensive onboarding process. Make sure to incorporate the following:
- Make sure they know who they report to and for what—job expectations should be crystal clear; that might sound like an obvious but stranger things have happened.
- Engage them with a clear understanding of what your company culture looks like and how they fit in.
- Assign a buddy to them—another millennial is ideal. Ensure that the buddy role is identified and understood by all.
- Build in lots of individual feedback and provide lots of positive feedback to reinforce desired behaviors and results. When providing corrective feedback, focus on the future process or new/more effective behavior and always maintain or enhance the self-esteem of the employee. Millennials need (and want) direction and coaching. They were brought up with lots of direction and attention, so provide them with the framework for what is needed—crisply and clearly–make sure that they know what “good performance” looks like.
- Assign to teams with other millennials in the mix
- Set up a reverse mentoring initiative for millennials
2) Feedback (millennials need a lot, in small bites, and using a variety of delivery vehicles—one-on-ones, tweaking, short text, emails, voice message, etc.)
- Make it future oriented— millennials tend to be a bit sensitive and prickly (part of the “everyone got a trophy” experience) and prefer to focus on the how do I do it differently. This sustains a culture that supports learning and innovation, as mistakes do happen. It’s how the managers operatively demonstrate that feedback is focused on emphasizing what the employee can do to improve (what to do differently and why behavior would be more effective).
3) Engage them with a clear understanding of what your company culture looks like, e.g., quick short videos of a diverse cross section of employees sharing their own story about an element of the employees value proposition. Millennials want to belong and be a part of something bigger than themselves. They are driven to make a difference. They want to contribute to the overall purpose of an organization.
4) Reverse mentoring programs are a great avenue for millennials to learn, and “give back”—clearly a win-win. These employees learn from senior executives by mentoring them. A Millennial is matched to an executive and assigned to teach him/ her on how to use social media to connect with customers for example and/or other such areas that Millennials do especially well. Additionally, the exposure for the millennial to higher levels of the organization increases business knowledge.
5) Career Planning—Millennials have their eye on moving up. Make sure that you have an updated career path so it is crystal clear how one can move up in the organization. Verify that experience, performance, and education requirements are crystal clear.
These are just a few tips on improving your retention efforts with Millennial employees. Implementing and sustaining a few strategic employee best practices will make a big difference and enhance your organization’s brand!
Does your organization include attracting, retaining and developing Millennials as a part of its Talent Management Strategy? Have you reviewed your onboarding strategy and assessed for relevance to this generation and modified as necessary?
Explore why an aligned Talent Management Strategy is a Must Have for Organizational Success! Enroll in IOD’s Talent Management Certified Professional program.
Author: Patricia Dammann
Onboarding Millennials: Start by Nurturing Them by John Rossheim
Peter Drucker Lends a Hand to Millennial Onboarding, Steve Minter (Industry Week), May 14, 2015
PEW Research Center, May 11, 2015
This blog was written by Danielle Krauthamer at Fisher Phillips, which authors several of our resources. You can find the original post and the On the Front Lines newsletter on their website.
Pawternity Leave: Are Employers Barking Up the Wrong Tree With Pet-Based Leave?
We’ve all hear...
This blog was written by Jason Plowman at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
Back to School Edition: School-...
This blog was written by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter on their website.
Full-Time Presence at Work Is Not Necessarily an Essential Function of the Job?
This blog was written by Mathew Parker at Fisher Phillips, which authors several of our resources. You can find the original here and their On the Front Lines Workplace Law Newsletter (which is excellent) here.
We Need to Talk: 5 Tips For Conducting Difficult Workplace Conversations
Needless to say, a company can’t operate (let alone succeed) if the employees aren’t showing up to work. But how do you ensure that your workforce will consistently report for duty? One good step is having a clear attendance policy. Communicating clearly about what are acceptable reasons to miss ...
This blog was written by Judy Yi at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
Five Issues When An Employer Is Consi...
This blog was written by Spencer Waldron at Fisher Phillips, which authors several of our resources. You can find the original post and the Employment Privacy Blog (which is excellent) on their website.
How Much Do You Really Want to Know About Your Employees? The Growing Popularity of Co...
This blog was written by Matt Anderson at Troutman Sanders, author of the Georgia Human Resources Manual. You can find the original article and their HR Law Matters blog on their website.
Who Are You?: The Legal Implications of Employee Personality Testing
Many employers require emplo...
Interviewer: So where do you see yourself in five years?
Applicant: I'd say my biggest weakness is listening.
Maybe the questions you ask haven't changed (and maybe not the answers you get either), but the process of hiring – ZipRecruiter, downloads, videos, Indeed, resume filters – has.
Well, maybe he didn't necessarily write the job description, more like he personalized it.
And a personalized job description should make for a more engaged employee, n'est-ce pas?
Vivek Patel from SAP shares in the Harvard Business Review something that all of us know, whether HR specialis...
This blog was written by Natasha Sarah-Lorraine Banks at Fisher Phillips, which authors several of our resources. You can find the original here and their Wage and Hour Laws Blog here.
Hiring Minors in the Heat of the Summer: What Employers Need to Know
Summertime is quickly approachin...
This blog is courtesy of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and can be found on their website here.
Recently, ABI named workforce issues its number one legislative priority for the 2018 session and reported many of its members have difficulty finding qualified workers. T...
This blog is an excerpt from our book Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide by Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E. Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs. For more information, go to the Products tab above and click on "Federal" to subscribe.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “wage...
Do new hires have to be a culture club fit? Patty McCord, former chief talent officer of Netflix doesn't think so. READ THIS deep dive (3500+ words) from Patty, SHRM and Harvard Business Review.
In Patty's words: "The process requires:
probing beneath the surface of people and their ré...
This blog is an excerpt from our book Hiring, Firing and Discipline for Employers, authored by Frank Day, Robbin Hutton and Jessica Asbridge at Ford Harrison LLP. For more state specific information, go to the Products tab above and subscribe to the Human Resources Manual for your state.
Not all employers provide employees with vacation time, but for those who do it is wise to have a clear, well-enforced policy in place to prevent confusion and help employees understand what steps need to be followed in order to use their time off. If employers decide to provide time off they nee...
Finding new employees can be stressful. Sure, an applicant will say they are a hardworking overachiever, but are they being honest? That's where reference checks come in. For most positions, it is beneficial for an employer to request and contact previous employers to check on perspective employe...
While there may be no state or federal law requiring an employer to have a handbook, there are a number or reasons why they are in an employer’s best interest.
Usefulness. It is beneficial for there to be one definitive source on the terms of employment. If an employee ever has a question ...
As an HR professional you are no stranger to paperwork. It seems that for every employment action – applying, interviewing, hiring, disciplining, on and on – there is a specific form that needs to be filled out. Making sure you complete the paperwork properly is only half the battle though. Once ...