Wait a sec—the millennial workforce has the highest rate of unemployment and underemployment in the U.S. What does this mean? We’re missing out on a huge resource of talent. The real shocker? Of the millennials that are employed, only 29% are emotionally engaged at work and love their jobs. Whoa!
According to a recent report from Gallup, “Millennials want what previous generations wanted: a life well-lived, good jobs with 30-plus hours of work a week, regular paychecks from employers BUT they also want to be engaged (emotionally and behaviorally), they want high levels of well-being, a purposeful life, active community and social ties. They want to spend money not just on what they need, but also on what they want. Only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work and half of them say they don’t feel good about the amount of money they have to spend and less than 40% are what Gallup defines as ‘thriving’ in any one aspect of well-being.”
Let’s take a closer look at these engagement numbers.
16% of millennials are actively disengaged. These individuals don’t like their jobs and are actively ensuring others don’t either. Even if it’s not their intention, this will damage their company.
55% of millennials are not engaged. They are punching in and punching out but they are not fully present while they are at work. Energy and passion are out the window, the company suffers, their customers suffer, and ultimately the economy suffers. Indifference is a company-killer.
How To Retain Millennials
How do we create a culture that engages and compels millennials?
According to Gallup: performance management requires a constant focus on feedback. 44% of those polled are more likely to be engaged when their manager holds regular meetings with them. This means meeting on a regular basis, and offering consistent feedback. Weekly meetings are key, even if short. Clear and actionable feedback is too. They want to matter, and they must experience safety, belonging, mattering and be connected to a purpose. The purpose is what will compel them to perform well and consistently. It’ll also keep them with your company.
Gallup says there are six functional changes (The Big Six) that need to happen in the organizational culture to attract and keep millennial talent.
Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup made the following statements. I am adding a few tools that will help you achieve the Big Six in your organization.
Millennials don’t just work for a paycheck ― they want a purpose. For millennials, work must have meaning. They want to work for organizations with a mission and purpose. Back in the old days, baby boomers didn’t necessarily need meaning in our jobs. Many wanted a paycheck ― and their mission and purpose were their families and communities. For millennials, compensation is important and must be fair, but it’s no longer the driver. The emphasis for this generation has switched from paycheck to purpose ― and so must your culture. [Read: Leadership Lacking? 3 Fast Fixes To Boost Brains (And Hearts)]
Millennials don’t want bosses ― they want coaches.The role of an old-style boss is command and control. Millennials care about having managers who can coach them, who value them as both people and employees, and who help them understand and build their strengths. [Read: How CEO Lunches Increase Employee Engagement]
Millennials don’t want annual reviews ― they want ongoing conversations.The way millennials communicate―texting, tweeting, Skype, etc.―is now real-time and continuous. This dramatically affects the workplace because millennials are accustomed to constant communication and feedback. Annual reviews no longer work. [Read: How Great Leaders Build Trust With 4 Brain-Based Tools]
Millennials don’t want to fix their weaknesses ― they want to develop their strengths. Gallup has discovered that weaknesses never develop into strengths, while strengths develop infinitely. This is arguably the biggest discovery Gallup or any organization has ever made on the subject of human development in the workplace. Organizations shouldn’t ignore weaknesses. Rather, they should minimize weaknesses and maximize strengths. We are recommending our client partners transition to strengths-based cultures, or they won’t attract and keep their stars. [Read: Discover, Engage And Sustain Workplace Talent In Three Simple Steps]
It’s not just my job ― it’s my life. One of Gallup’s most important discoveries is that everyone in the world wants a good job. This is especially true for millennials. More so than ever in the history of corporate culture, employees are asking, “Does this organization value my strengths and my contribution? Does this organization give me the chance to do what I do best every day?” Because for millennials, a job is no longer just a job ― it’s their life as well. [Watch: SmartTribes Institute Value Process]
Take the time to implement the strategies listed above and let’s make work a whole lot more meaningful for this untapped talent pool.