The desires, goals and career expectations of millennials are often a bit of a mystery to senior managers.
Comprising of those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, these individuals were raised in a completely different environment than the previous generation, and thus have varying expectations from their work. Often, their ambitions are high and they are ready to get the most they can out of their job.
A recent survey from Deloitte has exposed what this group wants from their workplace and how managers have a key role to play in keeping them engaged over a long period of time.
Will being a good boss make them stay?
While having a good relationship with your younger employees is considered a positive aspect, recent research from the University of Illinois found it may not be enough to make your employees stay on with the company. The researchers found there was little correlation between employer relationships and employee turnover.
44 per cent of millennials are planning to leave their current role in the next two years.
One of the authors of the report, Professor Ravi Gajendran, explained that building a strong bond with an employee could actually bring more benefits to the business in the future.
"If you have a good relationship with an employee who's left to join a client or competitor, you can leverage that relationship and potentially use them as a source of future business or as a back-channel source of information," he stated.
According to the Deloitte survey, 44 per cent of millennials are planning to leave their current role in the next two years. Of this group, 71 per cent feel there are not enough development opportunities for them in their current company.
In many cases, a worker may leave for new opportunities as a natural part of career progression. However, there may be an opportunity for an employee to return to a company much further down the line. Building strong relationships should offer better prospects for recruitment in the future, meaning it is worth investing time and effort in getting to know your young employees.
Becoming a career guide
Taking the one-on-one approach is often a good way to encourage leadership skills. A recent survey from Robert Half revealed that 41 per cent of employees aged 18 to 35 had a mentor, compared to the overall average of 24 per cent.
Bill Driscoll, District President under Robert Half explained the immense potential for older workers to offer knowledge to their younger colleagues, as well as gaining new skills of their own.
"A mentor can help navigate career challenges, provide encouragement, and share insights from past successes and failures," he explained. "Frequently, mentors inside the company end up being strong career advocates for those they take under their wings, helping them rise through the organisation."
In order to properly develop meaningful leadership opportunities, businesses should consider establishing mentorship programs to help engage both older workers and millennials.