Millennials Loyal or Disloyal?

The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey – Winning Over the Next Generation of Leaders

This survey builds on others conducted in prior years.  There’s a lot of useful information in it for business owners, managers and leaders of organisations. The key issue is that 25% of those surveyed would quit their current employer or do something different if they had the choice during the next year.  44% would do it if the time frame was two years and fully 66% expect to leave their employment by 2020.

Deloittes point out that whereas this issue with millennials (also known as generation Y), may be seen as a lack of loyalty, it may in fact be a sign of neglect.  Although this group of people, generally born between 1982 and the early 2000s are given a label as a generation, they are no different to the rest of us.  They are just better at articulating and demanding their needs and desires.  Employers need to be aware of this and focus on key needs that millennials have including:

  1. Work life balance;
  2. Training and development;
  3. Good financial benefits
  4. Plenty of coaching and mentoring.

Failure to meet their needs will lead to more staff turnover.

The cost of not dealing with it

Competent recruiters generally charge up to 20% of annual salary as a recruitment fee. In addition, there are other hidden costs such as the time it takes an employee to become productive for the organisation (approximately three months), the distraction to managements time having to deal with continuous recruitment.  On a salary of $100,000 the recruiter’s costs could be $20,000 and three months of non-productive time $25,000.  There is also, the opportunity cost that comes while new employees are being inducted and trained before they are fully productive.

I believe that what the millennials want is what we should give every employee, and that is to treat them as we’d like to be treated ourselves – The Golden Rule.

Larger organisations who have more resources can, if they choose to use them, be better placed than SMEs.  SME owners and managers need to consciously and strategically plan how they handle their current and future millennial employees.  Loyalty like respect is earned and it is not just an entitlement of position.  So what should employers do?

  1. Ensure financial benefits are at least at market value for the position;
  2. Demonstrate that the employee can enjoy the life balance that they desire;
  3. Offer continuous training and development for management and leadership skills.
  4. Provide mentoring from someone either inside or outside the business. This is particularly important and it will meet needs in several ways.  Mentoring can be role, industry or situation specific.

Don’t hire them if you cannot, or will not meet their needs.

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