Much has been spoken and written on millennials, however I still meet very often with frustrated managers facing this challenge, and the costly reality it represents for many companies.
Considering that today Millennials are more than 40% of the active population and in 2025 will be 75%, it is paramount that companies can engage and develop these workers, potentiate their forces and be able to retain them for larger time, as this will mean financial gains at various levels (more productivity, more efficiency, fewer employee turnover costs…).
Statistics show that this generation stays between 2 and 3 years in a function/company, which means that on average they will have about 20 jobs during their active life, building what is called “portfolio career”. The continuous development and learning of new competencies is therefore critical, so that they can stay professionally active and able to respond to new realities that arise. Companies should identify what is needed and be the facilitators of this learning. Short-term specific trainings and certifications will increasingly be the trend, so that these multitasking collaborators can actively contribute at professional level and feel that they can make a difference.
To engage and retain Millennials, companies need to create a strong culture where openness, transparency and collaboration are active values, and where managers exercise an inspiring leadership by clearly establishing the vision, the why and the meaning of what they do. This generation wants to believe that they contribute to create a better world and there is a reason to be in the company than just the salary.
It is also very relevant to create flexible work environments and policies, allowing them to manage well the work-life balance, as for Millennials the end results are the most important (not working hours). In this sense, regular follow up by managers, with more frequent feedback, ensures that employees are motivated and aligned with the company’s objectives. They are not interested in bosses, rather in managers that are coaches/mentors who listen actively, identify opportunities for development and establish plans for learning new competencies that enable progress and advancement in the company.
The presence of Millennials in companies is inescapable, and these need to adapt to this reality. Creating conditions to make the best out of opportunities that surface has to be the new mindset of business managers. Working with a generation for which purpose, flexibility and constant development is fundamental brings new challenges, but there are solutions.
Developing a Leadership through Coaching culture, enabling internal Coaching and Mentoring, and the design & planning of new training strategies based on the continuous development of new competencies and generation of opportunities for experiential learning are a must!
What about you? Do you regularly share your company’s vision and values with your employees? Already have the training and development plan for 2019?
Marta Sousa | Business Director & Associated Coach