America’s population statistics are changing, and so is the workforce. Millennials now officially outnumber Baby Boomers 83.1 million to 75.4 million, according to the most recent US Census.
This means the workplace will soon undergo a transformative change—if it hasn’t already.
As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, more millennials join the workforce. With this drastic change in maturity comes a dramatic change in style—and we’re not just talking fashion!
Millennials have different takes on life, different motivations and vastly different expectations of the world compared to the generations before them. Businesses that want to remain successful would be wise to keep up with the times and find new ways to appeal to these burgeoning masses.
Change is the only constant in life. It’s inevitable. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t for your business. And then millennials come along, stir everything up, and question every move. Many of them are quick to abandon tradition in order to uncover newfangled methods of improving the old to appeal to the new.
One of the biggest challenges for business owners who are considering hiring millennials is finding new and creative ways to provide compensation and motivation. Despite living through two recessions, millennials aren’t as interested about monetary rewards as previous generations. What can you do to acknowledge your employees’ achievements in ways that will appeal to them?
Consider a few of these incentives in order to boost millennial employee retention:
- Gift Cards: Employees appreciate your thoughtfulness. Give them gift cards to local movie theaters, grocery stores, etc., to show you care about the happiness and well-being of their families.
- Workplace Wellness Plans: Motivate your employees to participate in wellness activities together outside the office.
- Company Swag: Incentives like clothing and accessories (water bottles, travel blankets, sunglasses, etc.) are great ways to promote your brand while providing your employees with practical rewards.
- “Dress Down” Day: Once a group reaches a weekly goal, allow them to feel more comfortable in the workplace by offering a casual dress day.
- Paid Time Off: An excellent way to reward reaching monthly or quarterly goals, this allows employees to spend more time with their families and builds great workplace morale.
To obtain the modern-thinking, unique talents that millennials have to offer your business, you’ll need to keep in mind that they are less likely to change their lifestyles for a job. They want to find companies that show concern for their communities and are open to alternative scheduling methods.
Despite their youthful appearance, millennials already understand that life isn’t just about making money; they believe it is about making a difference. Your company culture must therefore reflect these attitudes. Here are some suggestions:
Related Article: Millennials In the Workplace: How Will They Affect Hiring?
With the increase of educational opportunities, millennials aren’t hitting the workforce as early as previous generations. Their personal lives are also blooming later.
Action: Offer extended leave for new mothers and fathers, and provide opportunities for them to take off from work to attend children’s sporting events, dance recitals, etc. (i.e., use paid time off as an incentive).
Benefit: Allowing employees to spend more time with their new families illustrates your understanding of the importance of family, which in turn leads to employee retention and quality performance in the workplace.
Companies that care about community or global causes are more likely to gain and retain members of Generation Y.
Action: Host events that encourage your employees to physically help local nonprofit organizations.
Benefit: Demonstrating your concern for the welfare of others and the environment shows leadership and community mindedness. Getting your team involved in community activities boosts self-confidence for all employees and builds trust with millennials.
Millennials spent a large portion of their academic careers in cooperative learning environments, so it’s important you provide opportunities for your employees to get to know one another on both business and personal levels.
Action: Check out these 30 examples.
Benefit: Employees get to know one another in ways that make them more comfortable working with each other. A cooperative work environment allows each member of your team to contribute a unique skill set while working with one another to reach a common goal.
Other ways to catch and keep millennials for your company can be found here.
Millennials may be different from the generations before them, but they’re well worth the investment for your company. As technology advances and time progresses, members of Generation Y harbor the knowledge necessary to ensure your company far surpasses your competitors. With their open minds and alternate views of success, millennials are the right choice of employees for any company.