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4 Tips for Retaining Millennials at Your Company

4 Tips for Retaining Millennials at Your Company.jpgIn July 2016, I published a post "10 Tips for Retaining Millennials at Your Financial Institution." Here's the follow up that many of you have requested!

Here's a staggering statistic. By the year 2025, Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce. Think about it. Today the oldest Millennial is 34-years old. In eight short years, the oldest will be 42-years old. The boomers will be aged out and Gen Xer's will be considered the really old people in the office.

Another news flash. Those Millennials are your customers or will be your customers. And that customer base is going to grow. Whether you are selling health insurance, jeans, cars or your banking services...understanding their mindset and a willingness to accept (not fight) them will set you apart for a long time to come.

The Death of the Open Door Policy

A surprising development in the open door policy held up so high by many of you. It doesn't work with Millennials. You can take the door off of it's hinges and it won't work. Why? Because this generation never had to ask for help. They grew up with helicopter parents who swooped in to solve all of their problems. At the same time, the schools figured out that rubrics were a cool way to teach kids. Tell them exactly what is due from the student and they will learn! Well guess what. They never had to ask for any help or form a mental trigger that said "hmm...better go ask and get some help."

Giving Time vs. Protecting Time

Remember when your boss walked into your office and said you had earned a special project to work on? How exciting that was? And..you knew your schedule was jam packed but you nodded enthusiastically and said YES! I can do this project! You pulled out your calendar and found the time to make that project fit. You gave freely of your time because to get to the next rung in the ladder...you had to pay your dues.

Millennials are extremely protective of their time. This generation grew up with technology and because technology is mobile, work is something that you can do (mostly) from anywhere and anytime. This is why flexible work hours are so important. And by flexible work hours here is an example: your team member wants to get to a yoga class at 4:30 and then get back on the job at 7:00 that night.

Loyalty to a Person Not a Corporation

The #1 reason a Millennial will leave his/her position is their relationship with their direct supervisor. The #1 reason a Millennial will stay in his/her position is their relationship with their direct supervisor. Previous generations were loyal to an organization or corporation and this was evidenced by decades long work tenures.

What to do to foster that relationship? Provide specific feedback via text. That's right. Text. It's a quick reminder that they are doing a great job on a particular task and they can show their friends. Millennials will work hard to complete a task but have difficulty identifying the next task to be completed. Mentor your direct reports.

This demonstrates their need to be connected to brands. They want relationships with brands hence why social media is important to them. They want to believe in your brand, have a relationship that includes purchasing, supporting and sharing your product or service information.

Student Loan Repayments Are Suffocating This Generation

There is a reason Millennials live at home longer or go home after college. I started asking this age group what they were paying in school loan repayments and the answers were shocking. Anywhere from $400 - $1000 per month were the answers I received.

Consider a student loan repayment benefit at your company. A few extra hundred bucks every month will pay off in spades.


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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.