Training for Keeps: Retaining the Wandering Millennial

Ready or not, here the Millennials come. By 2025 it’s expected that Millennials will comprise a whopping 75% of the global workforce. If you’re not careful, you’re going to lose them fast. Three years is all it takes for the average Millennial to decide they’re done with you. Can you imagine a workforce where three-fourths of its employees are job-hopping every three years?

The time to prepare is now. Employers need to set in place a proactive plan to catch Millennials’ attention and keep it. Otherwise, they’re going to experience high turnover rates and even higher turnover costs. In fact, the cost to replace Millennial employees is more expensive than hiring someone more experienced. To be exact, 87% of hiring managers report that replacing Millennials costs anywhere from $15k to $25k.

So, what can employers do to ensure their organization doesn’t resemble a ghost town in ten years?

Understand What Millennials Crave

This generation isn’t all for fun and games. If you think that having a ping-pong table in the office and taking the team out for happy hour after work is going to keep these young folks around; you need to catch up with the times. It’s not 2006, and your company culture isn’t fresh anymore. Fun perks like these are being offered more and more, and Millennials are beginning to see these as requirements in their job search. Therefore, opt for a different approach:

“Millennials seek jobs that offer fulfillment and growth. If you don’t invest in your relationship with young employees early, they may fall into the arms of the next attractive employer who gives them a call.” - Andrew Fayad, CEO and Managing Partner of eLearning Mind

Pique Millennials’ Interest

Attracting the Millennials isn’t as difficult as retaining them, and the first three years have proven to be crucial. This is where your onboarding and training process comes in to play. Having these processes aligned to Millennials’ wants and needs can be difficult to do at first, especially when change is needed. The first step is to pique their interest. They want to know what you have in store for them within the next 6 months; not the next 5 years. They want to know what they’re about to learn, what projects they’ll be working on, who will be a part of their team and everything in between.

“Right now, this millennial candidate wants to get to work and make a difference. They’re eager to be taught and to learn--all while putting their summer internship to good use.” - Rachelle Falls, @CorporateHRGirl

Nearly 40% of Millennials are interested in a career that provides a sense of accomplishment. Which is why your training process needs to determine the direction Millennials expect their career path to take them. Instead of sitting them down in a lecture-style training session, forcing them to watch a video and slamming an employee handbook on their desk; try a more one-on-one approach.

Open up the dialogue to make them feel valuable by offering a mentoring program. High-performing millennials look to higher ups for advice, feedback and affirmation, and this segment of the onboarding and training process is better off as informal.

Jeanne Meister, author of “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today”, explains it best:

“A lot of companies’ structured mentoring programs have failed as they have tried to put structure to something that is basically a relationship.”

Get Techy With It

Technology plays the star role in the Millennial's life. Last year, it was estimated that about 4.6 million college students took at least one online course. Online education is gaining popularity, and in five years it’s expected that nearly 50% of all college classes will be conducted online.

Speak to their style of learning and communication by engaging them in an interactive training program that gives them control. 81% of Millennials have a smartphone, so training programs that use technology are more likely to engage this mobile generation. Using a tech-savvy training program grabs their attention and exhibits your organization’s innovative approach to business. 

Millennials have a wandering eye when it comes to innovation. This generation craves the next best thing, so retaining the wandering Millennial is going to be a challenge for the future workforce. The first step in keeping this ever-changing generation interested begins with the training process.

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photo credit: Send me adrift. via photopin cc

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Tags: Corporate Recruiting, Human Resources, Millennials, Onboarding, Training

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