Friday, May 12 2017

How to Win at the Millennial Retention Game

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Many companies speak about Millennials as if they are fundamentally different than other employees, as though their needs and desires from their employer don’t resemble anything familiar. But members of the largest generation in the workforce actually want exactly what older generations do, they just aren’t as willing to tolerate slights when they occur.


So, if you want to retain more Millennials at your business, here’s what you need to do.

Subjectivity and Work Processes

Few employees quit their companies; they quit their bosses. But the root cause isn’t always the manager. Subjectivity in work processes leads to disconnects, and these disconnects are the source of the problem.


So, what is subjectivity in work processes? It’s when the provided instructions or institutional policies are open to interpretation. How tasks are accomplished, what steps are required, and which outcomes are considered proper aren’t clearly defined. And, if an employee and a manager interpret these processes differently, then it opens the door for conflict.


For example, the concept of being a team player is ambiguous. But, if a boss doesn’t consider an employee to be a team player, even if the employee thinks they are operating fine as part of the team, it creates a point of contention that is challenging to address. If your Millennial workforce isn’t able to understand why their manager sees an issue with their performance, they may choose to leave simply because the problem can’t be well articulated, making resolutions difficult to identify.


The issue of subjectivity can apply to any process that isn’t well defined, including those surrounding promotions, pay raises and accessing various internal opportunities. And, the resulting conflicts, will cost you in the Millennial retention game.

How to Remove the Source of Conflict

If your goal is to keep more Millennials on staff, then it is important to eliminate subjectivity wherever it resides. Examine key processes to identify missing steps or poorly defined requirements, working to replace them with more concrete instruction that isn’t as open to interpretation.


At times, this can be as simple as reassessing your language choices within processes. Take the time to make sure all procedures and policies are precise and relate it to observable action.


If conflicts do arise, consider it an opportunity to examine the source of the issue and not necessarily how the situation has played out. Examine any applicable procedures involved in the conflict and see if the resulting issue is based on a lack of clarity instead of intentionally defiance. It’s highly possible your Millennial worker followed the procedure based on their interpretation, and that just didn’t match up with the manager’s understanding of the policy in question.


While it can take time to review every procedure for ambiguity, it is a critical step for improving your retention efforts. If you are looking for more tips about retaining Millennials or are searching for new employees to join your teams, let the professionals at The Armada Group put their experience to work for you. Contact us to discuss your current hiring and retention plan, and see how our services can help you reach your goals.