According to JB Training Solutions, “91% of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years”. And with Millennials making up the largest part of the workforce, we definitely have our work cut out for us when it comes to retaining these individuals. As younger employees begin switching jobs more frequently, the effects are costly and quite frankly, exhausting. In fact, a study by the SHRM foundation states finding a direct replacement for an employee can cost the company anywhere from 50% to 60% of the person’s annual salary. So let’s say you are looking to replace an executive earning $80,000. Finding a replacement could cost your company anywhere from $40,000 to $48,000, not to mention the loss of productivity in the meantime.
So how can we beat these odds and ensure our employees stick around for the long haul?
Employee retention begins before the very first interview.
The best way to keep employees satisfied is to fully understand what they’re looking for. Gone are the days when a high salary and great compensation package was enough to entice an interviewee. Millennials long for purpose and direction in their career. Don’t misunderstand, while some are seeking a C-level title, the majority aren’t necessarily looking for a lofty position. The overall goal of a millennial is to learn, grow and be developed in their position.
Start by putting a plan in place for their career path. Think about where you’d like to see them take their role in the next three, five, or even ten years. Having this plan in place shows you’re investing in them as an individual and their career with the company. Maybe you don’t know exactly what type of position they’ll hold in five years, but you can show them the things they will learn. Discuss educational seminars they will attend or new skills they will develop while on the job. This is guaranteed to go further than a corner office would.
Recruitment and retention strategies are two sides of the same coin.
While setting them up for success is important, also keep in mind not everyone is going to be a great fit. In addition to thinking about what millennials want, also think about your company needs and the overall culture. The best way to ensure an employee sticks around is to determine if they are a great fit in the first place. I’ve seen this in my own experience when a job wasn’t exactly how it was laid out to me, I eventually got burnt out and left unhappy and confused.
You can prevent your employees from experiencing this new hire whiplash by making transparency an essential element of your interview process. When I left to seek a new position, PerkSpot stood out to me in one of the most obvious ways: the job description. Instead of the usual bullet points outlining the position in obscure terms, the description was familiar and informal. It painted an excellent picture of what my days in the office would look like. The transparency from the words on the screen to the face-to-face interviews ensured that from day one, nothing was ever a surprise. Within the first few days I knew the job was exactly what I had wanted and expected from the interview process.
Retention, by definition, is a continuous practice.
Beyond a new hire’s first week, remember that on-boarding is not an event that happens on the first day. When thinking about what millennials want, remember two of the most highly sought after aspects of a career for them are mentorship and development. You should already have your plan in place for where you want your new hire to take their career. Now, you just have to enable them to get there.
Keeping employees engaged isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. They need to know the specific goals you’ve set in place and receive feedback on their performance. Find a mentor who can meet with them in a comfortable, open environment. This is not only to provide necessary feedback, but also help them develop the skills they need to reach their goals. Millennials are eager to learn, but they can’t do it alone.
As employees long for job stability and your company profits from a secure workforce, don’t let employee retention become an afterthought. Think strategically about how to keep employees engaged. Remember that retention is an ongoing process that starts before, during and after the recruitment stages. Think of what you could do with that extra $48,000 when you don’t have to spend it on recruitment.
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