In a previous post, I used research on millennials coming out of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to talk about what millennials want. In this post, I’ll use that same research to provide suggestions about what employers can do to attract and retain millennial employees.
The first suggestion offered by the research is to make sure that you communicate with technology that is popular with millennials. Whether you use YouTube videos to demonstrate typical work days, e-learning projects to help prospects understand development opportunities, or social media to tap into networks and post new job openings, be certain that everything you publish is an honest representation of your organization and your people.
It may also be time to think about the compensation package that you are offering to young employees. Many college graduates (nearly 70% of them) begin their careers with a significant amount of debt (current averages are about $40,000), so while the benefits you offer are important long-term, in the short term it’s the entry-level salary that is often the deciding factor for a millennial.
Find ways to integrate new employees with their more experienced counterparts. Training activities, collaborative projects, brainstorming sessions, and workshops can not only socialize millennials to your organization’s culture and practices, they can go a long way to building bridges between the generations. Regular interaction with seasoned employees also helps prepare new hires for their own roles as organizational veterans and leaders down the road.
Listen to their ideas. In our colleges and universities, we talk a lot about the importance of innovation and creativity, and you want to continue to foster the development of those traits within your workplace. Make sure that all of your employees know that you’re open to new ways to doing things. While every idea is not going to be accepted, being told simply that “we don’t do it like that” is a sure-fire way to disenchant a millennial.