Experienced Communications Strategist and Legal Research Expert.
Millennials are taking over the Australian workforce and changing jobs in droves. So it’s time we sit up and take notice. Here’s how to communicate with them.
Long gone are the days where a person stayed with an employer for their entire career. These days, millennials have substituted the corporate ladder for the ‘corporate lattice’ and progress their careers laterally within the industry, taking progression steps with each new job and each new employer.
In fact, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, 38 per cent of surveyed respondents aged in their 20s and 30s planned to leave their employer within two years, while only 31 per cent planned to stay beyond five years.
What’s more, employee retention is essential to workplace productivity and reducing business overheads. The cost of replacing a departure is “around one and a half time a person’s salary”, according to the Australian Human Resource Institute.
So how do you retain your millennial staff before it starts costing you?
Build organisational trust
Forget the old-fashioned top-down communication technique of company messages from a boss sitting in an ivory tower. Millennials aren’t keen to be ordered about business decisions, they want to be involved in the decision making process.
In fact, Gallup notes that organisational trust is integral to workplace engagement and life satisfaction among employees. In order to build organisation trust, corporate communication needs to be inclusive, transparent and require team collaboration.
Rather than shooting off an email, consider floor walks and face to face meetings to discuss current projects, opportunities and challenges with your staff. If you do send an email, invite feedback. Also, use your company intranet system to create forums and places for safe and open discussion of topics affecting the business.
Instead of using the company’s name in corporate communications, try using “we” and “us”. The tone is friendlier and more inclusive, leading to better engagement.
But most of al, avoid lip service because actions speak louder than words and millennials can sniff out insincerity a mile away.
Empower your people to succeed
Empowerment simply means providing your employees with the technology and resources they need to do their job well.
This may mean more access to digital communication channels such as a smartphone or similar device so they can work more flexibly and on location.
It can also mean thinking about the way they can best receive important communications in their role. For example, a real estate agent or mortgage broker who travels to clients will benefit more from an SMS notification system than lengthy intranet posts.
Employee capability is necessary for personal and professional growth. Consider implementing internal and/or external training programs and courses, such as negotiation skills, writing/editing, new technologies, industry knowledge, accounts, and so on. Communicate openly with your employees about courses, memberships or subscriptions they might be interested in as beneficial to their role and professional development.
Reward and recognise
Millennial employees want to feel valued and validated for their contribution to your business, so be sure to recognise their efforts when they go ‘above and beyond’ and reward them accordingly. Share positive success stories among your staff to foster a shared sense of strategic collaboration.
Millennials research thoroughly. They know the value they offer, the base market remuneration and what other employers are offering. They are keen to negotiate and have mastered the art of leverage. Therefore, be prepared to negotiate a competitive remuneration package with monetary and non-monetary benefits. Also be sure to have open and transparent communication about performance and reward excellent performance accordingly.
Retaining empowered, driven millennials can be a fantastic asset for your business, as they can provide opportunities and avenues for new business, create new efficiencies and innovations, enlighten you with their creative problem solving and possess an internal drive to achieve profitable growth.
Want help engaging with the millennials in your business? Contact me today.