In 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.