June 25th, 2018
Patricia Dammann, VP Programs & Operations/OD Strategist at Institute of Organization Development
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.
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.)
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