Today’s workers care less about earning a coveted corner office like previous generations. Millennials seek employers who value them as human beings not just as busy little worker bees. And given the high cost of employee turnover, businesses can save money as well as ensure their continuity as an enterprise by attracting loyal workers committed to the company mission and vision.
Many millennials today connect with those all over the globe via the internet and social media. They’re driven to succeed in their careers but also seek to seize opportunities for travel and for building a family. They also gravitate toward companies whose practices reflect their own values, and they aren’t shy about sharing their stories about workplaces where they feel unappreciated any more than they rave about those they love — so keep corporate public relations positive by rewarding hard workers for their efforts in word and deed.
1. Make Diversity Key
Many millennials today grew up in homes with interracial or same-sex parents, and they have a greater appreciation for diversity than past generations. Simply hiring those of different ethnic backgrounds or sexual or gender identities doesn’t cut it anymore. Millennials want those in leadership roles to resemble the rich and varied heritage they grew up knowing.
Providing diversity training sometimes results in a few eye rolls. Offer it anyway. The most talented individuals will react favorably to such efforts and work even harder when judged on how they perform on the clock, not the color of their skin or whom they choose to go home to at night.
2. Create Flexible Working Arrangements
Many millennials likewise grew up in single-parent homes and are well-versed in the difficulty of coordinating childcare pickup time with punching in and out of the clock. Flexible working arrangements allow employees a greater degree of work-life balance.
Obviously, some positions such as that of receptionist or customer service agent require staffing during peak times. Smaller organizations may lack the capital to hire multiple workers to cover such shifts, but as business grows, strive to allow for flextime whenever possible.
3. Bring Back the Annual Raise
Many young workers find one income insufficient to cover their cost-of-living while still allowing for occasional indulgences. As a result, many work more than one job, which can lead to decreased productivity when they feel tapped out to the max.
Most employees understand tight company budgets but watching the boss roll up in a Lambo every day and head off to the links every afternoon when they can barely afford gas for their aging Pinto decreases both morale and loyalty. When things are going well, share the wealth with the team. This makes them more likely to stick it out during leaner times.
4. Care for Their Health
The U.S. stands unique among developed nations in that the majority of the population carries health insurance through their employer. And businesses have a distinct advantage when selecting coverage plans — they can receive group discounts individuals themselves cannot. Whenever the budget permits, invest in quality coverage for staff members.
Preventative care saves health insurance dollars in the long run, so consider partnering with a local fitness facility to offer staff discounted gym memberships. Even companies on a shoestring can provide adequate family leave to allow employees to care for new infants, sick children and aging parents.
5. Invest in Their Growth
Recent college graduates often receive a hefty bill along with their diploma. On average, young people today leave undergrad with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt.
Consider paying employees an annual “bonus” by paying down their loan debt. Many large corporations pay as much as $5,000 in student loans for each year of service. This incentive prompts many who may otherwise jump ship to stay.
6. Help Them Save for Tomorrow
Many people today have little if any retirement savings. But the earlier they begin to save, the more they can harness the power of compounding interest to reach their goals. Offer a 401k or IRA to workers and match their contributions. Consider SEP plans, too. Unlike traditional IRAs which have an annual contribution cap of $5,500 ($6,500 for those 50 or older), a SEP allows contributions of up to 2 percent of the earners’ income up to $56,000 with no tax penalty for excess contributions.
Cool Companies Are Geared for Success
The millennial generation has changed the business landscape for the better. But one thing remains the same — employees are loyal to business owners who treat them with respect and who compensate them fairly through competitive salaries and benefits. Employee loyalty leads to greater business success!
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