5 tips for attracting and retaining millennials

Brave, confident and ambitious, workers from the Millennial generation will make up 75 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2025. When will we come to grips with this shift? Are we ready for the generational shift in leadership that’s ahead?

iStock_000002041388SmallTo prepare, the next generation of back office managers needs to be identified, then engaged and readied to assume leadership positions. At the NICSA GMM, the impact of this latest generation of workers was a focus of two keynotes: author and database management expert, Wes Trochlil, and chief of human relations and citizenship at State Street, Alison Quirk.

Both presenters discussed the challenges of successfully incorporating the latest generation of workers into the workforce. They offered advice on how to motivate, retain and prepare these workers to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Here are 5 tips for harnessing the natural inclinations of Millennials:

  1. Attract them – Millennials want flexible work arrangements and a flexible career path. Finding a good work/life balance is on par with challenging work for this generation. Demonstrate that your firm cares and Millennials are valued by pairing them with mentors. By encouraging lateral moves within the organization, they may also gain a better understanding of your firm’s inner workings.
  2. Engage them – Millennials enjoy working collaboratively. Their opinion has always been asked. They want to be involved, so engage them in policy setting. Technology decisions are a natural fit because Millennials value innovation and expect — rather than resist – rapid change. For best results, give them assignments of increasing responsibility and expose them to diverse perspectives.
  3. Ignite their passion – Millennials want to work for an ethical company. In their view, making a positive impact on the world is more important than status or position. Make them understand how their work and employer makes a difference in the community and the world. Encourage them by making it easy to volunteer and contribute to charitable organizations that they support.
  4. Communicate carefully – Share information with Millennials and all employees in bite-sized pieces. Don’t try to jam information into day-long sessions, but instead break training up into shorter sessions and analyze progress as you go. Bring users and developers together to discuss what’s working and what’s not.
  5. Be transparent about change – Millennials are over-sharers. They are accustomed to and expect to know everything. To make all employees feel engaged and aligned with changes, give them the context – the “Why”—behind decisions. Incorporate story-telling into message points about future strategy.

What changes has your firm made to attract the newest generation of workers? Please share your experiences with NICSA.

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