9 Interesting Statistics Employers Should Know About Millennials

January 25th, 2017 Written by: Molly Masterson

Last year, millennials officially became the majority in the American workforce, with more than one in three American workers being ages 18-34, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

But millennials are not only infusing youth into their respective workplaces, they’re also bringing new focus, values and expectations to the table. As a result, employers need to take an active role in understanding this generation of workers if they want to attract, nurture and retain top millennial talent.

Below we highlight some interesting statistics in four topical areas that all employers should know about the millennial workforce, as well as actionable takeaways.

Professional Growth

For many millennials, staying at their current workplace for the long haul is unlikely. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016:

1.) 44% of millennials, if given the choice, would leave their current employers in the next two years.

2.) 66% of millennials expect to leave their current positions by 2020.

3.) Just 16% of millennials see themselves with their current employers a decade from now.

Why do millennials want to leave? Several reasons came to light in Deloitte’s survey, but a perceived lack of leadership-skill development and being overlooked for leadership positions were top concerns.

According to the survey, 63% of millennials say their leadership skills haven’t been developed and this is important to them. Deloitte points out that the most loyal millennials agree that their companies offer a lot of support and training to those who want to be leaders; and actively encourage younger employees to aim for leadership roles. Meanwhile, the least loyal employees are significantly more likely to say that they’re being overlooked for potential leadership positions; and their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

The Takeaway: Offer professional development and training opportunities.

Millennials have one foot out the door. But if you make an effort to develop their skills and help them reach new professional heights, they’ll feel more valued and loyal. In our nearly 50 years of experience, we’ve found that training doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. It could include:

  • Online courses, seminars and webinars
  • DVDs, audiotapes and books
  • Mentoring programs
  • Regular meetings to learn about other departments
  • Rotating employees into other positions or departments so they can expand their skills

Feedback

Annual performance reviews are a tradition for many companies, but research shows that this approach to employee feedback can have a negative impact on millennial workers. A recent study from TriNet, a human resources service provider, found that:

4.) 62% of millennials have felt “blindsided” by a performance review.

5.) 74% frequently feel “in the dark” about how their managers and peers think they’re performing.

6.) 22% have called in sick because they were anxious about receiving their review.

The Takeaway: Give more ongoing, specific feedback.

Millennials want steady feedback so they can learn and grow as humans and professionals. While you don’t need to throw out annual reviews, consider putting weekly, semi-monthly or monthly touch-base meetings on the calendar.

These meetings will allow you to chat about how they’re doing, what’s is and isn’t working, and discover what they need to be more successful at their jobs, as well as build stronger personal and professional connections.
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Retention & Turnover

According to Forbes contributor Jeff Boss, a study by Retail Wire found that while millennials surpassed the number of Gen Xers in the workplace in 2015, they also surpassed others in leaving the company.

“In other words, they’re serial job hoppers,” Boss wrote. “This poses huge financial concerns for recruitment, productivity and knowledge transfer, not to mention it paints a less-than-ideal perception of the company that also leads to decreased morale.”

Some of the figures Boss mentions from the study are enlightening, including:

7.) 71% of companies say losing millennial employees increases workload and stress.

8.) 87% of companies say it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace a millennial employee.

The Takeaway: Employee retention is key.

Keep the cost of losing a millennial employee top of mind and invest in them. Remember, most people can expect a 10% pay increase when they quit their jobs, and for millennials, that can be much higher. Give them benefits and perks that they’ll have a hard time find anywhere else, like free meals or tickets to special events. And, most importantly, recognize their good work. According to Gallup, employees who are not recognized for their good work are twice as likely to quit in the next year.

Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

For many millennials, flexibility and good work/life balance are at the top of their job benefits wishlist. In fact, the Gen Z & Millennials Collide @ Work study by Randstad and Future Workplace found that millennials (and Generation Zers) place a lot of importance on work flexibility:

9.) 19% of millennials say that flexibility (and healthcare) is the most important employer benefit offering.

The Takeaway: Be more flexible.

Millennials want to have room to fully leverage their abilities. Make your workplace more flexible without sacrificing productivity by:

  • Offering compressed work weeks with four 10-hour days. This may sacrifice day-to-day flexibility, but they’ll get an entire day free to compensate.
  • Providing telecommuting options. While many millennials still prefer in-person contact, offering telecommuting or work-from-home options gives them the opportunity to choose how they work. In addition, telecommuting positions can be a big money saver. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, telecommuting could to save you up to $11,000 per year, and help the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.
  • Making schedules flexible. Allow them to reasonably make their own work schedule. This will give them a sense of responsibility and autonomy that can lead to more productivity and happiness.

As you are contemplating this information, keep in mind what the Harvard Business Review points out: The priorities and desires of millennials may have more to do with their stage of life than with their specific generation. Nonetheless, these statistics on Millennials are important because they tell us how we can retain the largest share of our workforce, and the resources and opportunities that come with it.

Discover more actionable tips and advice for retaining your millennial workforce and keeping them happy and productive.

If you’re looking for new talent to add to your team, connect with Masterson Staffing.

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