The Millennial Code: Retaining Gen Y by Welcoming Input
In my previous post in the Millennial Code series, I discussed the first factor involved if companies want to retain their Millennial talent: giving them a clear picture of their career prospects with the organisation.
In this post, I want to outline the next important element in engaging Gen Y and keeping them on payroll.
And that’s listening to their input, their suggestions and their insights.
Gen Y, also known as Millennials, are the generation born roughly between 1981-95, and their unique traits and preferences are slowly but surely transforming the workplace.
If companies are going to thrive in the fast-moving era of organisational disruption and especially if they are going to hang on to their A players, they need to keep their ears and channels of communication open to the younger members of their team.
You may have noticed that Gen Y hangs in packs. They’re tribal, and they share. They like being listened to.
This doesn’t just go for publishing snaps of their morning workout or weekend brunch on Instagram, as the stereotypes have it.
It also goes for discussing life, tech and business innovations, warning each other when crisis or change is around the corner, and inviting suggestions before taking a decision or committing to a course of action.
Tips on where to have dinner in town? Most efficient car-sharing experience? Hottest app for better sleep management? Best city for computer engineers to relocate to? Friendliest company to work for?
Posing such questions and the hive of data that returns in the form of answers and responses is both natural to Millennials and yields a wealth of insights for those willing to listen and interpret.
Meanwhile, what Gen Y learns, recommends, reviews and builds excitement around very quickly builds significance across other age groups because, as a generation, they are constantly connected community of peers and are therefore influential.
They’re also used to being listened to by friendly, on-their-side authority figures – keep in mind that, growing up, there were none of the traditional distances between them and their elders. ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ were not simply there to tell them what to do. Consequently, Millennials participated in family decisions and voiced their preferences or opinions from an early age.
And they expect a similar experience in the workplace.
This is good news for companies of all sizes – after all, Millennials’ interactions with each other means companies have an ongoing, real-time research and development team, learning, experiencing, discovering and creating new social and innovative opportunities that can enhance their services, products and work culture in general.
But Gen Y’s interest in sharing their opinion or soliciting peers’ points of view or input could also be a challenge. This is because ‘being listened to’ traditionally came only after an employee had ‘paid their dues’, ‘worked their way up the ladder’ and ‘put in the time’. In short, it was a perk of seniority.
However, take it from me, as someone who trains Millennial recruits across a range of industries on a weekly basis… this kind of thinking should be relegated to the past by any organisation hoping to keep their best employees on board for the future.
Because if you don’t allow your Gen Y hires to voice their suggestions, their insights, you will not just lose a valuable opportunity to gather data about your target market, you will also alienate your human capital who will be only too ready to accept an opportunity elsewhere – perhaps with one of your competitors – who will value and engage with what they have to say.
Everyone, irrespective of age or experience, feels empowered and appreciated by having the chance to share their observations – to be given a voice. And we live in an age where if you have something valuable to share, it’s easier than ever to do so.
The key for companies who want to retain their Millennial talent is to ensure such insight is shared with the blessing of the organisation, as opposed to being marginalised and banished from it.
To learn more about my corporate training services and to book a free consultation, please visit: www.leonidasalexandrou.com/services/evolution/