How to Attract and Retain Your Millennial Talent (When 33% Are Thinking of Quitting)

A recent study revealed one third of millennials plan to quit their jobs and take a career break. Here’s how to keep your people engaged—and attract new talent that’s on the move.
How to Attract and Retain Your Millennial Talent (When 33% Are Thinking of Quitting)
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Millennials are the workforce’s largest generational segment—and the largest group planning to leave the workforce. Why? Many say they need a break to recover from work-induced burnout. Their plan? Rely on their savings, then look for a new job that will give them better work-life balance (and maybe a new career path altogether). 

It’s The Great Reshuffling, and it’s happening in droves. An estimated one third of millennials are expected to leave their jobs (and temporarily leave the workforce) in the next year. That’s compared with about a quarter of workers overall, according to a Prudential Financial survey

So, HR professionals have two options: sit back and watch their attrition numbers steadily climb, or take action now to create a workplace culture where people want to work; that is, keep the great people you have and attract new (millennial) talent that’s on the move.

Since we know you’re the kind of HR team (even if you’re a team of one!) to take action, we’re here to help with tactical ways to get started. Let’s dig in.

1. Foster a Culture That Supports Employee Well-being

Well-being is a critical component of the overall employee experience. Supporting employee well-being includes providing mental health and physical health resources, creating a culture of psychological safety, as well as promoting financial well-being. 

Fostering a workplace culture that supports these facets will not only boost overall well-being, but also productivity, engagement, and the feeling of belonging at work. These are all key drivers of a great workplace culture—one that talent will be attracted to and will motivate them to stay.

“Building a culture of psychological safety and support with intention is the best attraction and recruitment strategy there is. Today's workers want to work for organizations that support them and support causes that are important to them. They are less likely to tolerate a toxic ‘status quo’ and will leave an employer that is not fostering an environment of safety.”

Ruthann Weeks, HR professional

Also, remember that financial well-being starts with paying employees a fair, equitable, living wage. You can also provide services that help employees manage their finances, which can include retirement planning but also managing their debt, budgeting, and so on. 

Supplemental reading: 3 Ways to Attract New Employees During a Labor Shortage

2. Cultivate Strong Leaders

Leaders, especially managers, play a major role in employee engagement, productivity, and retention. 

Strong leaders are also a magnet for talent. Top talent wants to work for people who will help them grow in their career, and when your best employees tell their friends, family, and even strangers on the internet about how great their managers are, like-minded (and motivated!) people will want to come work for that manager, too.

“Give them a manager that cares about them and makes them happy at work. A person’s manager accounts for 70% of their job satisfaction.”

Logan Mallory, VP of Marketing at Motivosity

3. Offer a Flexible Work Environment

More than ever, millennial employees are performing a balancing act between work and home, having children and child care costs, self-care and re-emerging into their social circles. Being stretched in so many new directions can make employees feel like something has to give. (Hint: That something is work.)

“A lot of millennials are raising children and are attracted to WFH/flexible schedules. I happily work for a lower wage (nonprofit) because I can WFH 4x a week and not stress/pay for childcare.”

HR professional

Giving (all) employees flexibility with where and when they work will empower them to get their work done in a way that works best for them. A flexible work environment will also demonstrate that you value them as employees, wherever they are working.

“The younger generation believes in and wants work life balance. Companies need to understand that working 12 plus hours a day with little to no self care is NOT acceptable anymore.”

Wendi Ann, HR professional

4. Demonstrate Career Progression

Many millennials are taking a break to reassess what they want from their careers. And the ones who see their current jobs as dead ends will look elsewhere. 

Read more: The Great Reshuffling: Why Your Top Talent is on the Move and How You Can Win Them Back

To retain the great people you have, ensure that the roles they’re in have clear paths for career progression—and that managers talk to their employees about development and growth opportunities. 

This also goes back to cultivating strong leaders like we talked about above. Encourage two-way communication between employees and leaders so that everyone is clear on what comes next—motivating employees to stay engaged and fostering trust in the employee-manager relationship. 

5. Provide Meaning

There’s also a faction of millennials that place less emphasis on career progression and more importance on finding meaningful work. 

"Making a difference, having meaning in what they do is important to them... Not every job will lend itself to a higher set of ideals but the employers need to find it in their culture & how their business gets done."

Carmela DiCola Bozulich, HR professional

So how do you reach those people? You ask them what’s important to them, whether it’s in an interview or while they’re working for you. Find out what matters most to your employees—and then deliver on those insights. 

Get More Guidance Right to Your Inbox

At Eddy, we know staying on top of today’s ever-changing workplace can be a lot for a small HR team, especially if you’re a team of one. That’s why we created a software to help take the administrative tasks off your plate, and let you focus on taking care of your employees.

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