By Karin Eldor
Monster Contributing Writer
A mass exodus is occurring right before our eyes: millennials are fleeing the building. They are leaving their cushy corporate jobs in favour of launching their own start-ups or going the freelancer route. Don’t call them self-entitled job hoppers though – they’re simply looking for new experiences, fulfillment and personal growth.
To be transparent, lately my daily online reading further drives this point home: a barrage of articles have started filling my feed, with titles like “How to Be Happy at Work,” “How to Start Your Own Business” and “How to Ensure You’re Finding Your Purpose.”
It seems that instead of articles on how to get ahead, articles about becoming your own boss are going viral. Which begs the question: Are Google searches for “how to land the corner office” being replaced by “how to work in your own home office”?
Are millennials tired of the regular corporate life? And what can you do to ensure your company is appealing to this thriving sector of the workforce – and retaining top talent?
How to Keep Them
1. Why Do They Want to Leave: The 9 to 5 office structure stifles them
Solution: Allow (and encourage) flexible hours
One of the top disadvantages often listed about working in a corporate environment is the inflexibility.
Some companies are stuck in an era where physical “face time” is appreciated – and even recognized. But with today’s technologies, employees can be even more productive when working from home, even if it means a couple of days per week. I’ve heard many people complain about how long their daily commute is, to the point where this actually becomes an employee’s most stressful part of their day. If they work from home, they might even be able to log on by 7:30 / 8am, rather than rolling in at 9:30am.
Meetings and communication are no longer challenging, thanks to efficient online messaging tools like Slack, and Google Hangouts and Skype (or even simple “dial-in” numbers).
Companies like Flexwork Global are trying to change this mentality as well, by helping companies adopt a more flexible work structure and create effective mobile workplaces.
Moving away from an old-school “9 to 5” mentality will definitely make your company more appealing to current and would-be employees.
2. Why Do They Want to Leave: Unfulfilled Goals
Solution: Foster personal growth
Millennials – and especially yuccies – thrive on loving what they do and being passionate about it.
Encourage your managers to have more regular personal assessment meetings with their team members, to stay on the pulse of what their employees are interested in and what drives them.
Trying to foster their personal growth from an intrinsic point of view will appeal to them. For example, “lunch and learn” workshops about “lifestyle” topics geared towards self-improvement could be motivating.
Also, try to implement recognition programs where employees who have made a difference and “walk the walk” are recognized with an award. By achievements I’m not referring to who had the best sales quarter, but rather who made a difference by leading by example and fostering a positive environment and attitude.
3. Why Do They Want to Leave: They have other interests
Solution: Allow side projects
Many millennials are driven to work on passion projects – encourage this mindset. For example, if someone on your team is passionate about a cause or hobby, encourage them to talk about it. If you allow your team members to nurture their side projects, they will feel appreciated at work and as if they’re getting the best of both worlds. Win-win for all.
Of course, this is acceptable as long as the side project is not a conflict of interest with the person’s primary job.
4. Why Do They Want to Leave: They are stressed out – to the max
Solution: Encourage wellness like yoga or mediation at the office, or an on-site nutritionist
Unlike previous generations, millennials are not motivated by stress. They aren’t interested in burning out or burning the midnight oil (unless they work for themselves). Their parents likely never achieved work-life balance, but millennials wouldn’t have it any other way. They work hard, but don't live to work.
With that in mind, offer yoga or meditation sessions at the office. Or implement a program where employees go for group walks or jogs at lunchtime, to take a “breather” and break away. Since the 2000s and the start of the start-up era, companies are getting better and better at this idea, but there’s still a ways to go to allow employees to work hard without burning out.
Foster Change & Be Disruptive
Millennials are a talented bunch.
They are the future of the workforce, and no doubt will soon be judging the next generation to follow, now known as Generation Edge (or Gen Z).
Ensure you stay attractive to this cutting-edge, innovative generation of people – it just takes an open mind and willingness to adapt to their needs.