Key Measures Employers Should Use to Keep Young Talent

Since the past 8 years, employers have been struggling to retain young employees for a period longer than 2 years. A 2015 College Graduate Employment Study at Accenture Strategy found that 49% (nearly half) of the 2015 graduates consider themselves to be underemployed or working in a job that does not require a college degree. There has been a steady increase in this number, from 46% in 2014 and 41% of the graduates surveyed in 2013.

With the increasing trend in the number of young employees quitting their jobs and seeking employment elsewhere, employers have been struggling to retain young talent in their organizations. Some of the proven ways to retain young talent involve adapting the work environment to suit the likings of new graduates. Here are five proven tips from companies that have found ways to keep up with the evolving workplace landscape.

attracting millennials to the workplace

5 Key Measures for Employers to Retain Young Talent

1. Training, opportunities & growth

The newest graduates in the workforce expect to learn more and develop their skills constantly. In a survey, 77% of the graduates stated that they expect their employer to provide training in their first job, whereas only half of them said they got it. According to another survey, by Deloitte in 2016, two-thirds of millennials are expected to leave their job by 2020. From the workers who wanted to leave their jobs within the next two years, a population of more than 70% stated the reason to be lack of leadership development. The youngest employees should not be blamed entirely for jumping jobs after working for a short tenure.

This also implies that, for companies, offering long-term development opportunities can give you an edge over the competition and helps you retain fresh young talent. It is highly essential to provide training to young graduates who join the company. The culture of development needs to be imbibed at every level in the company’s hierarchy.

2. Constant feedback

The age-old annual and semi-annual review meetings don’t appeal to the Millennials. They need feedback constantly. If they’ve done well, they like to be appreciated when they complete their task. If there’s scope to improve, they like quick feedback so that they can take corrective measures at the earliest.

A survey conducted on 1,000 Millennials showed that over 60% of them want to hear from their managers at least once a day. With a greater amount of communication, employees feel more cared for, learn more and are encouraged to engage in their work better. Unlike the older generations who preferred a hands-off approach, millennials like constant feedback.

3. Get rid of the 9-5 timings

Among the many millennial-minded initiatives, Donovan from PwC says that the most important initiative at the company was to create flexibility within the workplace. In a firmwide analysis of millennials at the company, 95% of the respondents said that they considered work-life balance to be extremely important to them. Over 25% of the young workers also said that they were disappointed by the amount of balance they were able to maintain. The younger generation values a good balance in their work and personal life.

In response to the survey, the higher management began to ask the managers how they would like to help their team members work the hours that suit them. This top-down decision paired with a firmwide contest to submit flexibility plans reformed the company’s culture. Employees at PwC now have the flexibility to work from home when they don’t have client meetings and are allowed to slip out of office for an hour to attend a class during a workday.

4. Purpose beyond the assigned task

Young employees love to serve a ‘sense of purpose’. Deloitte surveys have found that, for six in every 10 millennials, this sense of purpose played a role in them accepting their current job offer. Nearly half the people have declined to work on assignments that go against their values. Millennials and Gen Z employees perform well in environments where their work has a clear purpose that contributes to the organization and the society as well. The Federal Government pegs young workers with their purpose. 80% of the young employees in the federal government say that they can see their contributions to the agencies’ goals and 86% say that the work they do is important. The companies that don’t serve an innately motivating mission have the freedom to give young employees a sense of control coupled with purpose by demystifying bureaucracy and increasing transparency. By providing their employees with an ‘insider’, they can give their workers a higher sense of responsibility.

5. Fun work environment

The newest college graduates in the workforce prioritize work culture over their compensation. If the work environment has a positive social atmosphere and factors growth, young employees don’t mind getting a lower salary. New college graduates prefer drawing a lower salary when compared to working in a place that is less fun. Employers who delegate challenging work to their entry-level employees and additionally create an enjoyable environment at work have a competitive advantage.

Companies tend to regard new graduates’ desires at the workplace as impractical based on their limited work experience. By doing that, they miss out on some of the most talented young workers of the class of recent graduates. While college students show an immense amount of enthusiasm to enter and adapt to a competitive labor market, it’s time for employers to level up and show that they are just as capable of adapting by adopting a flexible work environment.

Silicon Valley’s wealth of perks like free food, nap rooms, pet-friendly policies, etc, has raised the bar for many companies. However, these luxuries are often taken as the obvious benefits of a general culture of care that appeals to millennials. The latest graduates are driven by how well their team works together, how supported and appreciated they feel. A family like work culture that is supportive and encourages growth is what attracts young employees the most.

Adopting these 5 strategies has changed the dynamics in many companies and has increased the employee retention rate of young talent. Make sure your company’s policies evolve with time.

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