I have seen the data, read the articles, and the proof is in the pudding. Employers already possess the answers on how to retain Millennial employees and yet they continue to ask the same questions and make the same mistakes. The Millennial generation has been characterized as a group of employers always looking for the next best opportunity. In turn if the perception is so, than the answer is simple: employers need to create the next best opportunity within their organization.
I am not sure where so many companies got the impression that all we want are aesthetically pleasing office spaces, ping pong tables, and free snacks. Perks are a great attraction but at least no one that I know of stays for the games or the food. The real appeal is knowing that our employer is willing to invest in us and work with us to develop our skills. However, I believe the hesitation for employers to further our growth lies in the fact that they think we will take our new found skills and invest it into another company. All investments come with risk but does not guarantee any reward. No guarantee of a reward brings hesitation to make the investment. And no investment at all means no value added and therefore no value returned. This is where the paradox lies.
What I mean by no value returned is that the Millennial employee is undervalued and thus underutilized. Employers hire us out of college into entry level positions and a lot of the time their expectations are not for us to outgrow these jobs. The tasks are way below our threshold whether it be in knowledge, time, or capacity. That isn’t to say we wish to be overloaded and overworked. It means that we are capable of doing more than the expected and when put to the test, we can demonstrate that we are valuable members of the company who can get more than just the job done. Don’t hesitate to let us prove ourselves because with low utilization levels brings valueless effort and obvious waste.
According to Millennial Branding, the cost of replacing a Millennial employee is roughly in the range of $15,000 to $25,000. If companies invested just a fraction of that annually into each of their employees, they would be raising skill sets while simultaneously improving employee satisfaction. For example, providing the ability to attend conferences, take classes, or get certified are simple ideas that will likely pay out in an employee’s confidence level, credibility, and overall human capital. If a company should take any chances, it should be to value the young employees they have and grow them into future leaders. That is what we really want.
Employers — stop dealing with high employee turnover rates and low employee satisfaction levels. It is as much of a pain for us to job search and go on interviews as it is for you to replace us and train the next person. This relationship can work as long as we both make the investment.