Millennial retention in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges facing companies across the globe who rely on frontline workers.
And it’s a challenge because there’s been a BIG shift.
This shift is being driven by younger generations that, in the US alone, make up 46% of the workforce. This percentage of Gen Z and Millennials is only going to get bigger, and it’s why you need to listen up to what they’re saying.
You have two choices that will influence the millennial retention - react and move with this shift, or watch and clutch at straws as you try to stem the tide of frontline workers quitting their jobs. It’s up to you… but if you standstill, you’ll likely get left behind.
Millennial values at work
There is a huge disconnect between employers and the frontline workforce when it comes to understanding what these workers—the people whose jobs keep our world running—truly value.
This generation of workers has a different set of values and they want different things from their employer.
Forget the race up the career ladder at the cost of personal health and wellbeing. Your frontline workers are socially conscious, they want ethical leaders and employers who care about their wellbeing. They believe that corporate social responsibility is key to alleviating poverty and improving life outcomes and 79% of millennial employees are loyal to companies that care about their effect on society.
Our research found the top three values this generation of workers have are:
- Enjoyment at work
- Higher pay
- Flexible scheduling
Let’s dive into them and see how you can prevent your Millennials quitting:
1. Enjoyment at work
Culture, recognition and taking the time to listen to your employees can transform your employee experience. A stressful and negative environment isn’t just bad for your employees and their wellbeing, it’s bad for your business and customers.
You have to care.
In fact, according to former Starbucks CEO, Jim Donald, you have to care more than people think is possible or necessary.
“Don’t ever be bigger than the frontline,” he says. “If you're bigger than the frontline, not only will you personally fail as a leader, your legacy will be crushed and your business will be bad. Why not show 98% of the workforce - those on the frontline - that you care by respecting what they do?”
By creating a culture of caring, you speak to the heart rather than the head. This creates a bond and an emotional connection which keeps employees engaged.
Jim Donald adds: “If you talk to your employees’ brains, they might get it. But if you talk to their hearts, you can be sure they’ll remember it.”
2. Higher pay and better recognition
Look, we get it, it’s hard to dish out pay raises left, right and center all the time. But what about recognition and clear paths for career development and progression?
Our survey found these workers want to be recognized for their efforts in order to feel truly motivated and engaged at work. Stereotypically, frontline workers are not known to “climb the career ladder”, but lack of career progression is an emerging frustration in the responses we received.
Frontline workers want to have a future in the companies they work for. In fact, 47% of employees said they planned on staying long-term (up to 2 years) in their jobs. While others stated that the inability to move forward in their job was a major reason they considered quitting.
Ask yourself if you’re delivering on this and, if you’re not, do something about it.
3. Flexible working
Your employees want to be enabled and empowered. Giving them control over when they work is a great way of doing this.
But still, 30% of frontline workers say they have no control of their work schedules and, on top of that, 42% say their personal care suffers due to their work schedule.
That rarely does wonders for their engagement, meaning your business will take the punch. Engaged employees generate 81% higher customer satisfaction, and reduce employee turnover by 50%. So let’s give them some more power!
Tech can help you make this a reality.
Your employees want tools to make their everyday work lives easier. With the right tools and technology in place, flexible scheduling can help save time, reduce costs, improve productivity and employee retention, AND boost employee engagement. It’s what your frontline workers want, and it helps your managers to get more work done.
Enjoying work, better recognition and flexible working are simple with the right tools.
If you’re using a WFM app it’s easier to grant your employees' wishes, keep the millennial retention in check, and help your business reach its full potential. Discover why your business and employees need a WFM App and see for yourself.