Like it or not, millennials are here to stay. In fact, they're becoming an increasingly large part of the workforce each and every day. According to a recent survey from eLance and O-desk, millennials are actually primed to be the most prevalent generation in the workforce as early as 2015.
Knowing how to not only attract this important contingent, but also cultivate a workplace environment that is conducive to retaining millennials, is likely going to be a key HR competency moving forward. However, there are a few differences between millennials and their forebears that warrant understanding if your recruitment and retention efforts are to be successful.
Rethink management hierarchies
The totem pole of conventional management structures is so ubiquitous that you'd easily be forgiven for taking it for granted. But as it turns out, your notions about the necessity of management structures aren't shared by your younger employees. TIME reported that because of differences in upbringing, millennials have little patience for hierarchies, and this extends to the workplace as well. Many of these younger employees prefer what they call an "ideocracy," in which every idea deserves to be heard with the best one winning out, regardless of the rank or title of its origin.
Don't count on money to get the job done
Typically if you wanted to retain an employee you'd offer him or her greater financial compensation to sweeten the deal. Interestingly, this tried-and-true method may not be as effective with your younger employees. Of course that's not to say that millennials don't want to get paid for their work, but when it comes to choosing a career path, there are other criteria that are considered as well. One of the most significant, according to Inc. magazine, is your company's mission statement. Above all else, millennials are attracted to meaningful, impactful work where they feel like they're making a difference in the world around them.
Digitize your company communication
Some managers may remember installing their first email server in their company, and how big a deal that seemed at the time. Not surprisingly, technology – especially communications technology – has advanced rapidly in the past few decades, and you can't expect your younger employees to be on the same page as you. Millennials have moved beyond email to social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat, and if you want to keep them engaged, you should work with HR services such as those provided by PEO companies to determine how you can best implement these strategies into your daily communication.