All workers need to feel that they are appreciated on some level. Millennials have this need in overdrive. Many of them grew up with parents who made sure that they knew how valued they are. Moreover, those who did not have the fortune of growing up with warm and loving parents saw those relationships with their friends and friends’ parents.
No one should expect that their bosses will become parents and that their coworkers will become family, but companies can make efforts to showing workers that they are valued. Something as simple as an email that notices a meaningful contribution that an employee made can work wonders in improving worker satisfaction and reducing job turnover.
The myth about millennials is that they are lazy and entitled. While some certainly are those things, the truth about millennials is that they are also kind, cooperative, innovative, and creative. Moreover, they are looking for work cultures that share those same values.
Millennials are not quitting jobs because they hate working. Nevertheless, there is no question that they are leaving jobs in large numbers and costing companies a lot of time, money, and resources. But when they find that they have an engaging and cooperative work environment, they are much more likely to stay put.
9. Millennials Quit Because They Don’t Feel Valued
One of the biggest reasons why workers quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. They do not have a sense that they are making a meaningful contribution and think as if they are just cogs in a giant corporate machine.
This reason is particularly exacerbated among millennials because feeling valued and appreciated is connected to their sense of self-identity and purpose. If they do not feel appreciated, they feel lost and like they are doing something wrong, even if they are doing everything right.
Millennials, on the whole, are not looking for someone to tell them how special they are. They are looking for opportunities to use their skills to make meaningful contributions to a goal bigger than themselves.
When millennials feel they are part of something important, they immediately become much more engaged in the job that millennials are doing and want to ensure they are doing it well. When they don’t feel that they are part of something important, they are looking for new jobs.
7. Millennials Were Part Of The Self-Esteem Movement
The self-esteem movement was a disaster. Schools, sports teams, and community organizations came up with the idea that for people to feel important, they need to be rewarded for every single thing they did. So kids got trophies for coming in last place.
The result was a disaster. Kids came to feel entitled and expected other people to coddle them instead of working hard and finding worth and value inside of themselves. Those kids were millennials and are today’s workforce. The effects of the self-esteem movement linger.
Millennials do expect more of their bosses than other generations of workers. They want their bosses to mentor them. They want employee evaluations to critique them in such a way that they develop a plan for personal and professional growth.
Moreover, they need more affirmation than other workers. Employers who want to keep their workforce instead of continuing the same pattern of turnover need to be prepared to give more pats on the back than they may be used to.
Baby boomers and Generation Xers tend to work well in solitude. Not so with millennials. They went to school at a time when educators were beginning to see the value of group work. To them, nothing was a contest. The rule of the game was collaboration.
This team spirit that millennials have can be of great value to employers, as long as they recognize the need to put millennials in teams. Brainstorming sessions can be incredibly productive, as long as there is a strategy to follow up and make sure that ideas are being turned into reality.
Millennials don’t need their bosses to tell them they are unique. They know they are special. They spent the first 18+ years of their lives hearing that from their parents.
What they want is for employers to recognize their skills and talents and put them to use. The millennial who majored in English needs to have a role in drafting corporate communications, even if that wasn’t part of the original job description. The artist needs to be able to use those art skills whenever possible. Giving those tasks to someone else will burn.
Millennials need to work for a boss who sees them as more than a worker. They need a boss who calls them by the first name and recognizes them as individual people who have lives outside of work. While the boss may not be keeping up with all of their travel plans, he or she needs to show some kind of interest in their lives.
Many baby boomers and Generation Xers have long been happy to go to work, sit down at a desk, and only interact with people whenever necessary. Their relationships are at home. For millennials, human connection is the key to everything that they do. It unlocks their abilities.
Millennials are the kindest generation in the history of humanity, and employers need to adapt in such a way that recognizes the different impulses they have. They’re likely to spend part of their salary on a charitable cause or spend time volunteering.
When millennials realize they are appreciated, they will outperform any other employees. And even better, they will bring other workers up with them. They’ll set a standard and help others rise to it by assisting other people on their teams.
The high turnover rate of millennial workers is due to a lot of factors, some of which simply cannot be controlled. They inherited a bad economy and graduated with an excessive amount of student loan debt. They may quit a job simply because they cannot afford their loan payments and need to move back in with their parents.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways that companies can engage with millennials. Employers that let millennials know they are committed to them will find that, in turn, the millennial workers are committed to the company. There may need to be changes in how bosses engage with workers, but in the long run, the result will be greater worker satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.