3 Keys to Attracting (and Retaining) Millennial Talent

By Casey O’Loughlin, Star2Star

For most employers, millennials now outnumber employees from the Generation X and Baby Boomer generations. And they’re bringing an immense amount of talent and new, creative ways of thinking with them. The millennial outlook is critical for businesses looking to make the most out of DevOps and digital convergence, for example. But there are challenges when it comes to recruiting millennials, as they are the most likely cohort to switch jobs, according to a recent Gallup report.

A Constantly Moving Workforce

The Gallup report found that six in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities and won’t hesitate to job-hop; they are in fact the least engaged generation in the workplace.

“Unattached to organizations and institutions, people from this generation — born between 1980 and 1996 — are said to move freely from company to company, more so than any other generation,” the study pointed out.

In fact, about a fifth (21%) of millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same. Gallup estimates that millennial turnover costs the US economy $30.5 billion annually.

Millennials also show less willingness to stay in their current jobs. Half of millennials — compared with 60% of non-millennials — strongly agree that they plan to be working at their company one year from now. For businesses, this suggests that half of their millennial workforce doesn’t see a future with them.

The Keys To Engagement

Why are millennials so likely to move around? There are many potential reasons, but one could be their low engagement in the workplace. Gallup has found that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, meaning only about three in 10 are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company. Another 16% of millennials are actively disengaged, meaning they are more or less out to do damage to their company. The majority of millennials (55%) are not engaged, leading all other generations in this category of worker engagement.

Never fear, however! Companies can actively tackle this state of affairs by recruiting millennials with compelling, differentiating reasons to sign on, and then stay on. One of the core ways to do that is with a modern, technologically advanced workplace.

3 Strategies For Attracting Millennial Workers

Here are three aspects of a business communications strategy that are critical to recruiting millennials and keeping top talent engaged.

Embrace Agility

Millennials value flexibility and seamless collaboration across environments, meaning that implementing a cloud-based communication strategy is a must. According to a study by Bentley University, 77% of Millennials believe that flexible work hours would actually make them more productive, while 40% said the same of remote and virtual work. However, that access needs to be complete and rich in functionality, because this digital-native generation also values strong collaboration, across multiple channels of communication.

Omnichannel Communication

The right UC system creates an omnichannel interface for supporting a converged communications experience centered around presence. The interface shows who is available and via which communications methods — IM/chatphone, email, video — and allows a working group to communicate accordingly. They’re also comfortable in dealing with virtual forms of communication, like tweeting, texting, social media, and so on. For millennials, the ability to use a converged environment enhances culture and productivity by building more cohesive, connected teams, and speeds up decision-making processes — all of which meets their desire to place innovation and technology at the heart of their work experience.

Providing Feedback

While earlier generations of managers were taught to mete out praise sparingly and to always leave workers with a sense they could improve, millennials prefer proactive feedback and open, transparent communication as to job performance. UC can help with this by virtue of its built-in reporting tools to track individual and group performance, such as call logs and CRM reports. Armed with this, managers can set up regular review and progress-tracking meetings with their individual employees or teams, which in turn boosts engagement and helps millennials feel actively involved in the success of a given project or mission.

“Millennial workers have a lot to offer, including more diversity, tech savviness, and a fresh perspective,” the Gallup study said. The trick to ensuring a stable and productive team is creating a culture built on technology, like Unified Communications, that allows millennial employees to thrive.