Millennials are known for job hopping from one company to another, chasing trendy perks and bigger paychecks. While it may be true that millennials have an appetite for job growth and transitions, they are not completely disloyal.
Instead, the millennial workforce values different benefits than its generational predecessors. They want the ability to live a balanced life, with moderated stress and a future they can be excited about.
We’re defining four key ways companies can amplify millennial retention. Read on to learn how millennials’ unique perspective has given them unique needs as employees.
Combat Stress with Wellness Perks
Millennials, what do they have to worry about? Turns out, millennials are the most over-stressed generation in the workforce. Student loan payments and an insanely-paced digital world have made life for millennials challenging.
A study by Working Families and Bright Horizons found that 41% of millennials want to downgrade their careers in order to feel less stress.
The good news is, this generation is all about wellness.
They actively participate in company health and fitness programs when they’re offered. In fact, 72% of millennials report wellness initiatives as the best stress relief option.
The opportunities for employee wellness are well-documented. From onsite gyms to company-sponsored 5k runs, millennials will be the first to sign up. The key is to make wellness a part of the workday. Managers should encourage employees to take time to be active, even if their workout session happens during the day.
There’s another reason to offer company wellness programs – improved insurance premiums. Making wellness easier to achieve for employees undoubtedly contributes to better health, and fewer insurance claims.
Researchers estimate workplace stress accounts for $190 billion in healthcare costs.
- Tip: Millennials gravitate toward tech. Let these apps alleviate stress. Consider a company subscription to a meditation app like Headspace, a fitness app like Aaptiv or a talk therapy app like BetterHelp.
Personalized On-Trend Training
Millennials love to learn and up-level their skills. But they don’t love paying for all their own training.
According to Udemy, 42% of workers are paying out of their own pockets for online skills courses, coding bootcamps, and workshops.
Acknowledge that millennials know what skills they need to thrive. Allow them to choose their training opportunities.
Millennials don’t value company-sponsored training as much as previous generations. It’s nearly impossible for HR and L&D teams to keep up with the training trends of each department. It makes much more sense to allow employees to define their training and development roadmap.
Give millennial employees stipends for courses and certifications of their choosing. Invest more into training budgets to allow millennials to travel to modern industry conferences.
- Tip: Attending trendy industry conferences as a department doubles as a team-building exercise. The team bonding will be worth the expense. Positive relationships at work is a surefire way to secure loyalty.
Stop Vacation Shaming
It’s obvious why a generous vacation policy helps millennial retention. However, a cushy vacation allotment isn’t the only piece of the equation. If employees don’t feel they can even take their vacation, 20 hard-earned vacation days hardly matter.
An unfortunate new workplace trend has arisen called vacation shaming. The term, mentioned by Leslie Stevens-Huffman describes “work environments where co-workers and bosses use peer pressure and guilt trips to discourage employees from taking time off.”
A company should encourage time-off. A culture of “no days off” can permeate a department, subtly at first, but soon a theme of working long hours and being available 24/7 is the norm.
Managers and leaders need to take responsibility for a pro-vacation and pro-balance culture. Notice if vacation shaming occurs. Remind employees the benefits of taking breaks and days to unwind. Have fun sharing about upcoming trips and show off pictures from getaways.
Work ethic does not mean relentless hours and never cashing in on PTO.
- Tip: Let employees share about their latest vacations in team meetings. Managers should share their experiences as well, to emphasize vacations are important.
Get Ahead of Job Hopping
The millennial temperament lends itself to job hopping. That’s just the nature of the risk tolerant, curious-minded millennial. That doesn’t mean loyalty to an employer is impossible.
It just means millennials need to be able to hop from one opportunity to another more readily. 22% of millennials job hop within a company nearly twice as often as other generations (12%).
Companies that allow millennial workers to easily shift roles within the organization will win.
Allowing lateral moves and role rotations gives employees new job experiences without having to quit the company.
Businesses should be open-minded about career shifts, as millennials often want major transitions. 76% of millennials expect to change careers, not just jobs at some point in their lives. Hiring millennials from totally different departments, like from sales to marketing, will give them the positive growth they want.
To really solidify millennial loyalty, a company should be willing to promote their employees. Millennials that are promoted to leadership roles will feel much more inclined to stick around. The Conference Board found that 44% of millennial leaders plan to stay at their same company for more than 15 years while 29% of non-millennial leaders said the same thing.
- Tip: Encourage millennial employees to schedule informational interviews with colleagues across departments to get an idea of what roles interest them.
Millennials Want To Be Loyal
Most millennials want to be loyal. The issue is that companies have consistently failed to offer benefits and perks that align with millennial preferences.
This generation is purposeful, forward-thinking and energetic. They want an employer that helps them pursue their passions while also supporting them to manage their stress. They seek opportunities to grow and learn in a way that feels personalized and empowered.
Ultimately, companies that support the lifestyle and temperament of millennials, will have a workforce that sticks around.