Attracting and Retaining Millennials
Gallup recently conducted a survey of 195,600 U.S. employees culled from a data base of more than 31 million respondents to assess the state of the American workplace, changes that have occurred during millennial engagement, and issues for managers as new and emerging technologies transform the way work gets done. Gallup found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose by four percentage points, from 39% to 43%, and employees working remotely spent more time doing so.
Employees have a different attitude about what a job should and should not be. Most workers, many of whom are millennials, approach their role in a company with a highly defined set of expectations. They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop. They want their job to fit their lifestyle. They are looking for a greater work-life balance and better personal well-being.
Organizations need to look for new ways to attract and retain employees. Only one-third of those surveyed said they were engaged in their work. Only 21 percent say their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Most employees felt indifferent about their jobs and the work they are being asked to do. Most employees (91%) said the last time they changed their job, they left their company to do so. Today, 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job or watch for openings.
The Gallup report is designed to provide useful information for leaders to enhance employee engagement in the workplace. Leadership seems to be lacking, or so many employees believe. According to the survey,
- 22% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
- 15% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
- 13% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.
ClickTime, an organization that helps businesses track, manage and report on employee time and employee expense reporting, recently published a piece on employee satisfaction and engagement. An interesting observation is “Studies have shown that the more friends an employee has at work, the more likely they are to refuse another job.” Employees seek a tight-knit work community or department to enhance happiness in the workplace. They seek out genuine friendships that make the workplace more enjoyable. They look for social and interpersonal relationships that might grow into more meaningful relationships. In the past, the workplace experience was a separate and distinct element of employees’ life. Today, workplace relationships are an integral part of employees’ overall life experiences.
On the one hand, this is understandable because today’s employees spend more time on workplace issues than ever before, in part because of the use of technology when outside the office as well as it being an essential part of their job. The use of social media has driven this trend. On the other hand, challenges exist for today’s business leaders that are different than ever before. Leaders need to ask themselves: How can I enhance employee experiences, commitment to the organization, participation in the process, encourage thought leadership and advancement, and recognize employees for a job well done.
Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on May 3, 2018. Steve is a writer, speaker and consultant on ethics issues in the workplace. Visit his website to sign up for his Newsletter.