As a small business owner, you have all sorts of different organizational and market-based factors to keep in mind every month, as well as a list of expenses to cover that likely feels neverending. While it’s easy to get distracted thinking about immediate, in-your-face concerns, remember that retaining staff members is vital and, each time you lose a valued employee, you have significant costs to cover to find and train a replacement.
It’s essential, then, to spend time, energy, and money on coming up with ways to boost retention levels. This is particularly important for the younger members of your workforce. Millennial employees likely make up a good chunk of your team and have significant and growing responsibilities. To help you keep these workers happy, productive, engaged, and loyal, use some key strategies in your business.
Provide Workers with Opportunities for Growth
While we all like to get paid well for our work, millennials are very focused on retaining interest and enjoyment in their jobs. They want to develop themselves professionally over the years. As such, beyond a decent paycheck, make sure you give your younger staff members opportunities for growth.
Give them access to inspiring speakers, training programs, workshops, and the ability to attend key industry and company events. Allow them to be more mobile, moving around the business to try different roles and tasks over the years so they can see how things work from every angle. Also, set up mentoring programs so younger employees can receive extensive support from more established team members.
Reward Millennials with Perks and Gifts
Like anyone, though, millennials also like to receive perks and gifts that show that their managers notice their efforts. Give workers perks such as extra days off and free or subsidized lunches, massages, child care, or healthcare, etc.
Also, hand out rewards that are as personalized as possible. Millennials like to be seen as the individuals they are, rather than just a number. Buy interesting, unique, high-quality promotional products and other rewards for employees to make them feel valued and an important part of the team. When buying goods, consider the tastes, interests, hobbies, family life, backgrounds, special skills, and other aspects of worker personalities and lives.
Have Clearly-Communicated Business Values
Another way to help retain your younger workforce members is to ensure your business stands for something. Millennials want to work for companies that have a clearly-communicated vision with values that align with their own. As the leader of a firm, you no doubt have set principles you believe in and standards you abide by. But do these things trickle down through every layer of the business?
Do all members of your team understand the ethos behind the firm and the reason why it sells the products or services it does? If you want to keep millennials committed and engaged for the long-term, make sure they’re clear about how the business operates and, preferably, how it gives back and has a positive impact on the world at large.
Millennial workers are very focused on trying to achieve at least some semblance of work-life balance. They aren’t your typical nine-to-five employees and tend to work at all hours from tablets, smartphones, and laptops. As a result, it’s a good idea to be open about how you allow your team to get tasks done.
Be flexible when it comes to working hours and the venues from which people can do their jobs. Allow millennials (and other staff members, too) the chance to get their projects finished while working at times that suit their most productive hours. They may want to work around childcare and other family commitments. Make it simple for them to work from home or coffee shops or other places that help them be most creative and focused. Don’t micromanage them constantly.
Another crucial element of keeping your millennial staff members happy is fostering an inclusive company culture with a strong sense of community, where teamwork is valued, not just an afterthought. You also want to encourage innovation and make millennials feel heard and that their ideas matter.
Don’t be afraid to ask younger employees what they want and need to be happy at work, either. Every little step you take to address all of these various factors will help you create a productive workforce that becomes your best asset.
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