Retaining Millennials in the Workplace – Java with Jim

by Jim SchleckserFeb 21, 2022Java with Jim, Leadership

apple
spotify
stitcher
google podcast
Deezer
iheartradio
tune in
partner-share-lg

A Conversation with a Millennial

Today, we’re going to talk about millennial retention, how to attract them to your business, and how to keep them around. And we’ve captured a millennial in the wild, and he’s going to weigh in as we break down both.

A bit on Millennials – they want to have work tasks that are satisfying and rewarding. They are learners. They like some security in the workplace. They’re collectivists. They enjoy team-based projects. They’re optimistic, and they’re creative. They’re technologists, and they’re multitaskers. They’re digital natives. They’re socially conscious. But everybody’s a mixed bag.

Why is the topic so important? There is a shift change occurring. Gen X and Boomers are retiring, and millennials will take over in management, VP, and director-level positions. Those positions are all going to be millennials in the next ten years.

So, let’s break this into two parts. How do you attract them to your business? What do you need to look like to attract them? And how do you go about retaining millennials?

Attracting and Retaining Millennials in Your Business

Jim:

Millennials have never lived in an era where the internet wasn’t a thing. And they probably all had cell phones growing up. They are digital natives, and they are pulling consumers of information. In other words, we used to push consumers of information, and broadcast media, newspapers, and magazines pushed at us. And then we would consume millennials do not consume information like that. They decide what they want to read, and they pull it to themselves, mobile-enabled so that it presents well it’s usable. Their primary way of communicating with the universe is the cell phone, not the PC. So if you are not digitally oriented and mobile capable at the highest level in every touchpoint you have, you’re going to experience leakage in your millennial attraction.

Millennial Response (Rob):

I think it’s interesting to bring that up because one of the first ways I saw the company that I worked for now (I’m a software engineer and a consultant) search for an answer or how to solve problems. And more often than not, I was landing on blog posts from the company that I’m currently working at. So I was continually getting exposure for them while I was still working for the other company because they had the answers for some of the problems I was trying to solve. So it was interesting that as I was going through searching these problems, the company that was just a couple of doors down from me was showing up pretty frequently.

Jim:

A positive, reputable brand in the marketplace helps attract people. They’ll say, that’s the kind of company I want to work for. I was absolutely on point weaving purpose into what you do as an organization. Rob, do you guys do any of that in your organization, or is there anything sort of corporate social responsibility appealing to you there?

Millennial Response (Rob):

There are a couple of things that we do. One of the things is we have something called a diversity action council and what they do is they try to make sure that our day-to-day and our week-to-week activities lend to being more diverse. It can be as small as when we order lunch for the company and try to go to a smaller mom-and-pop place. And then another thing that we also do is take a portion of our profits that come in and turn around and invest those in minority-owned comp local companies, especially like in Detroit. A lot of that money goes to software companies trying to get started.

Jim:

A positive company culture, it’s slightly different than our reputation, although they are related. I’ll give you an example. And the big word here is people first. So this is a very humanistic group of people. Companies are kind of cold, hard things. People are what matter. And many companies say, people first, but they don’t mean it. They don’t put their money where their mouth is. They don’t behave in that way. When I talk about positive company culture, it’s about respecting people, embracing diversity, and genuinely trying to think about the impact on people first and maybe the effect on profits second or third. Now you must make a profit to stay in business, to provide security. Everybody gets that, but the balance maybe 20 years ago would’ve been profit first, people second.

Millennials choose a place that meets their values.

Millennial Response (Rob):

Absolutely. I work entirely remotely. I started at my company entirely remotely. I’ve only been into the office about three or four times in my 15 months at this company.

Jim:

Autonomy and personal development are motivators for this group. So, let’s say that I’m working at a company and they’re investing every year in my personal development. And I’m thinking about leaving, and I don’t want to go to a company that will not invest in me. It’s a way to help retain people because you’re spending money to do it, but it is helping maintain them.

Millennial Response (Rob):

I can confirm that I get about and get $6,000 of a budget every year for professional development. I can use that money to go to online courses or whatever I feel I need to continue to provide value to my clients.

Jim:

One of the big themes here is transparency. And the other things here are early raises and early promotions. They’re impatient to be promoted. They’re impatient to get increases.

Millennial Response (Rob):

My previous company had a large wall with everybody’s names on it and had everybody’s salary, and you can look at the board and say Jim’s in this bucket for this hourly rate. I think he’s doing a great job. I’m going to go to his boss and say he needs a raise. The boss could say, okay, great. We’ll move him up to the next bucket.

Jim:

Healthcare hits both recruitment and retention. I think you have to offer good robust healthcare for this generation. It doesn’t mean they can’t pay part of it, but it must be a solid plan. They would leave for better and more secure healthcare.

Millennial Response (Rob):

As far as benefits go, one of the big things for my generation is maternity and maternity leave. And then the other thing, which is amusing for the tech industry and you don’t see it as much anymore, but it used to be the big Google thing where offices have foosball tables and video games and a pool and everything you could want in the office. And for Millennials, we want to be in the office as briefly as possible. We want to get the job done in a comfortable environment and then get back home.

Talent Management: A Sure Sign You Have a Problem Negotiation Strategy: Never Respond First

Archives