Millennials - the generation that is quickly taking over the workforce - are often misunderstood as a generation of youngsters glued to their cellphones and hopping from one job to the next. Though there are many things to learn about this generation, fear is not the answer. Rather, if you take the time to learn what works best for this generation in the workplace, you can rest assured that you will have a strong team who is deeply engaged with the work they do!
Between 1980 and 1996, approximately 73 million millennials were born throughout the country. Of these millennials, those who graduated college between 2006 and 2010 have been found to switch companies an average of 2.85 times in their first five years post-graduation. This turnover is costly in terms of your company morale, and quite frankly, financially! Gallup estimates that the US economy faces a cost of about $30.5 billion annually due to millennial turnover!
What does this mean for you? What can you do within your organization and your leave management program, in order to improve millennial retention?
Tip 1: Create An Education Program
87% of millennials list ‘learning and development’ opportunities as a top priority in their job selection process. If learning and development options are integral parts of your organization, millennials have more incentive to stick with your company, rather than searching for external opportunities.
Keep in mind that training doesn’t need to be formal! It can even be as simple as encouraging your employees to watch webinars pertaining to their field of expertise within their workday hours. Another option could be to hold mentorship meetings for your millennial employees to ‘pick the brains’ of company thought leaders.
Knowing that millennials thrive in environments that encourage ongoing education, they may wish to take time off to pursue higher education - degrees, certifications, or just attend industry education seminars. You may wish to consider adding this as a benefit option after an employee has been with you for a set period of time. Many employers have already added paid sabbaticals and leaves into their offerings for education, volunteer work, and so forth.
Tip 2: Adapt Your Leave Management Strategy
Keep in mind that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) came to fruition when many millennials were just children. The times have changed, as have the needs and demands of this generation. Whether that be for current leave legislation, or for company leave policies, there is demand. Therefore, make sure your leave management strategy is approachable, dynamic and efficient to meet the needs and desires of your millennial employees.
Oftentimes, this means stepping back and evaluating where your strengths and weaknesses are in your leave management process. Is it your compliance? Your communication? Your efficiency?
Tip 3: Make Considerations For Work Life Balance
Nationwide, employers are continuously searching for ways to make themselves more appealing to millennial employees, to improve the quality of candidates they receive for job opportunities, as well as to retain strong workers. Better paid parental leave benefits are a major pull factor for millennial job candidates. In fact, 86% of US millennials are less likely to leave a job if there is paid parental leave within the company’s policies. In the past couple of years, many major US employers have taken the move to include paid leave programs in their benefits offerings, in order to meet the ever-growing demand for these types of programs that emphasize work-life balance, and to make themselves more attractive to prospective employees.
Tip 4: Instill a 'High Trust Culture'
No matter what age your employees are, it’s been proven that they tend to exude higher forms of productivity and engagement when they feel pride in the work they do, have camaraderie amongst their team, and work in an environment that is surrounded with trusting relationships.
So how do you build a high trust culture? Some ways are for management to recognize excellence in the workplace, encourage challenging - yet achievable - work, and provide individuals with autonomy in deciding how best to get the job done.
This autonomy can also be worked into your leave management strategy, especially with Presagia’s employee self-service option. Employees can enter into the system to personally request leave and review their current leave balance. This gives them the ownership they want, while also making your overall process more efficient!
Tip 5: Create Opportunities For Regular Feedback & Communication
Feedback is an absolutely crucial element for millennial employees. Research shows that almost 85% of millennials express they would feel more confident if they had more frequent conversations with their manager. So how can you integrate regular feedback into your workplace culture? One way is to remove the traditional ‘annual review,’ as this type of feedback has been proven to not work well for millennials. Instead, millennials prefer to have more regular forms of communication and feedback about how they are performing. Currently, only 19% of millennials receive regular and routine feedback at their workplace. Break the mold and make the change!
When it comes to your leave management strategy, communication is always important. However, knowing millennials prefer regular, efficient and timely communication, ensure your leave management strategy does just that! A leave management solution like Presagia, has the methods for ensuring your communication is consistent and efficient, such as pre-filling in correspondence for you so that you can get it out faster.
With these tips, you can start ensuring that you're bringing in the best candidates into your organization, and retaining your MVPs (Millennial Valuable Personnel…)
Founded in 1987, Presagia has a long history of helping organizations solve complex business problems with easy-to-use solutions. Today, this means providing cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to be more efficient, control lost time and risk, and strengthen compliance with federal, state and municipal leave and accommodation laws.