How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs is an important matter for a number of reasons. In a world when more and more people are changing jobs more often than in the past, it’s important to do whatever is possible to keep good employees. This is especially true with millennials.
According to the Dale Carnegie Course people, “Only 17% of employees are satisfied in their job.” And, they further stated, “45% of employees are planning on leaving their job in the next 12 months.”
That presents a very expensive proposition for most companies. They invest in training and mentoring and then a valuable employee jumps ship to go to work for another company. With millennials, the cost of turnover can be very expensive!
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs begins with realizing that we are all very similar. Some people think that, with all of the electronics and social media activity these days, millennials are very different people. They may be in some ways. However, I feel that most people are more alike than they are different.
Surveys have shown that the main reason people leave their job voluntarily is not because of money. We think that if we throw enough money at a situation, surely it will be OK. Not if we mistreat people. The main reason people go somewhere else, is that they weren’t made to feel important.
Dale Carnegie, in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, said that we all “need to feel important.” Notice he didn’t say that people “want” to feel important. He said we all “need” to feel important. And that goes for millennials. When keeping millennials from leaving their jobs is important, keep in mind that making them feel important is vital.
Here are 5 steps to help with this.
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs begins at the beginning. We need to make them feel important from the beginning, when they interview for the job. Instead of focusing on the resume, let the candidate talk about themselves first. Tell them that each individual is important to your company and you would like to first learn about them and their background. One question will make them feel important and tell you whether they are a good candidate for your company. State the following: “I see what it says on your resume and we’ll talk more about that in a moment. First, could you just tell me about yourself?”
If they can’t talk about themselves, with some animation and enthusiasm, perhaps they’re the wrong person to come to work with your company. However, if they do feel comfortable telling you about their past, where they’re from originally, their family, and their history, you’ll get a good feeling about their potential and make them feel important at the same time. I’m taking for granted that the person interviewing is genuinely interested in other people.
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs is reinforced on their first day of work. In many companies, where there are more than just a few employees, most people don’t get to know a new employee for quite some time. Keeping in mind that it’s important to make them feel important, introduce the new employee to the entire staff on their first day of work. Make them feel special from the beginning.
One CEO gave me the following idea, which I thought was wonderful. On the first day of a new employee’s hire, they throw an ice cream social, at lunchtime, in honor of that new employee. They put up signs around their offices which read, “It’s (persons name) Day at (name of company). Welcome to our team!” Then, at lunchtime, they bring in vats of ice cream and the big celebration is on in the company lunchroom. How would that make you feel if it was your first day of work at a new company?
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs means that we should let them take an active part in all meetings. In many companies, management does most of the talking in meetings and sometimes some of the attendees never talk. I think that is a big mistake. To make people feel important, give individual points in a meeting and then poll the audience. Say the following: “I’d like to stop and get everyone’s opinion on my last point. Whether you agree or disagree. Especially if you disagree, because I’ve been known to be wrong.” Watch your tone of voice when you do this. You want people to feel comfortable, especially if they disagree.
Don’t ask for volunteers. Simply start on one side of the room or the other and make sure everyone talks. Take notes, and not electronically. Electronically they can’t tell if you’re really taking notes. Millennials are made to feel important when we ask their opinion about a point and then take notes. They may have a valuable point.
Then, say the following: “If you were the CEO (or manager of a department) of this company, how would you lower expenses, improve productivity, or get more clients?” Then, watching your tone of voice, go around the room again. Someone may come up with a brilliant idea. When someone does, and you implement it with good results, compliment that person at the next meeting. Again, especially with millennials, you’ll make them feel important.
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs means we’ve got to do things differently than most people do. Using hand-written note cards is very different, especially because the millennials are so used to social media and electronic communications. Keep a stack of note cards that don’t have your company logo on them. A card with a company logo makes it look as if you have many of those and you send them to a lot of people. Buy some note cards at the drug store that start blank on the inside and have a design on the cover. These are to be mailed to the home address of the millennials, not through inter-office mail. It makes a bigger impact that way. In order to make a further impact, do not put the return address on the back. Do not meter these. Use commemorative stamps. They make another impact.
I have found that one line, in your handwriting, on a note card, will mean more to these employees than a paragraph in an e-mail. These are not to be sent on birthdays or anniversaries. They’re sent “just because.” If you notice them being nice to other employees, send a note. If they close a good deal for your company, send a note.
How to keep millennials from leaving their jobs can be enhanced by helping them identify their next reward. It is said that we’ll get everything we want out of life when we help enough other people get what they want. Early on in their employment, sit down with a millennial and tell them that their personal goals are important to you. And, you want to find a way to help them achieve some of those goals. Ask them the following: “If someone were to give you an extra $500, and you couldn’t save it or pay off debts or give it to someone else, what would you do with the money?”
It could be a weekend away, a night out for dinner and a show, going camping, or whatever. In other words, what would they do to reward themselves with something they wouldn’t normally do? Once they identify that, encourage them to get a picture of that reward and to look at it the first thing each morning and the last thing each night. Have them post that picture in their office, or at their work station, so you’ll constantly know about their next reward.
When you want them to show extra effort with an important project, find a way to help them get that reward with perhaps a bonus when that project is completed successfully. This step will make them feel very important. When is the last time an employer showed interest in their personal goals?
Follow these 5 steps regularly and I believe you will find that they will make the millennials in your company feel important. That, I believe, will also cut down on the staggering cost of millennial turnover.
“I make those who work with me feel important, give them recognition, and show them appreciation!”
Related Article: 15 Ways to Improve Your Attitude and That of Those Around You
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger