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How to nurture high-achieving millennials in the workplace

15/01/18 Natalie Tyler Associate Director

High-achieving millennials expect to stay with their current employer for five years, regardless of circumstance, salary or responsibilities, according to an FTI Consulting study1.

Natalie Tyler, Redline’s Talent Acquisition & Training Manager looks at what can be done to keep companies most talented young employees engaged and committed.

“Given that millennials will account for fifty-percent of the global workforce by 2020, it is crucial for companies to prepare for the ‘high-achieving millennials’, says Natalie. Their needs to be a better understanding of high-achieving millennials as it will have a potential impact on a company’s bottom line.  For example, millennials tend to have a flighty nature and with growing social networks dominating headlines, organisations must understand how their behaviours translate in to the workplace. They also need to understand how they can grow their millennial talent.

How do these behaviours translate in the workplace and what can employers do to grow their millennial talent?

The global survey of 4,063 millennials (defined as those currently aged 18 to 30) across the UK, Germany, United States and China, in August 2016, focusing on a specific subset of the millennial category: the high-achieving millennial.

The research found:

  • High-achieving millennials expect to work with their current employer for no more than 5 years
  • 1 in 4 are actively looking or expect to look for a new job in the next 12 months
  • It costs on average $25,000 to replace talent 

More responsibility please

“Two fifths of high-achieving millennials want greater responsibility in people management within their current role. They want to see that they are steadily increasing their responsibility and most of all they are keen to take on more people management responsibility. In many organisations, individuals rise through the ranks without direct ‘people management’ training. This lack of training may further hinder the millennial manager with direct reports. Therefore companies should upskill their young talent in ‘people management’ to support their professional development.”

Climbing the ladder

Two-thirds (67%) say they expect to be promoted at least every two years. Millennials want to progress their careers. Business leaders need to clarify the elements that are required for promotion and ultimately be clear on the required behaviours as they are on financial targets. Stellar staff praises and reward is essential. Articulating what an employee has done to the rest of the organisation is crucial in order for other employees to learn what needs to be done to succeed and be rewarded.

Flexibility nor anarchy

6 in 10 high-achieving millennials want their employer to allow more flexibility, however they also require structure from their employer. Their ease between work and social networks means they do not see rigid lines between work and social life. Business leaders need to set clear boundaries and a framework for what is expected of their young talent. There should be more freedom for how and when they are expected to deliver the less time-critical pieces.

What else are they looking for?

“The reality us that the expectations that millennials have in the workplace are a good baseline for how the workplace is evolving. Companies that revisit how they communicate with and address the desires of millennials will likely reap the benefits from other employee audiences”, says Natalie.

10 practical tips to attract, retain and develop high-achieving millennials

  • Motivate and stretch them – give millennials more responsibility and ensure the right training is in place 
  • Look after your people – Understand what well-being means for your employees and articulate what you can realistically deliver. 
  • Deliver high-quality information – Millennials have quick access to information and expect to hear from senior leaders about business strategy, organisational changes and corporate news. 
  • Foster meaningful interactions – Provide regular reviews, face-time with management and consistent, transparent communications from leadership. 
  • Voicing their views – Millennials understand the benefits of crowd-sourcing and expect workplaces that encourage meaningful discussion and the synthesis of ideas from everyone.
  • Encourage family leap - The majority of millennials cited plans to start a family at 27 which roughly corresponds to the ‘4-year itch’ timeline when they usually leave their first jobs. While few believe in a cradle-to-grave job, millennials who see both male and female colleagues having careers AND families may be less likely to jump ship in their late 20s.

Here at Redline, our standards are high, our clients even higher and 35+ years in the high-technology sector is quite a legacy to build upon. For Redline to continue to 100 staff, we need to identify and develop 30+ new staff over the next 2-3 years.

We provide a great working environment and we’ve put together development programmes covering the skills our recruitment consultants require as professional high-technology recruiters. Our business has an average tenure of nearly 7 years, so we are genuinely investing for the long-term, both in our employees, new recruits and our customers.

For details of Redline opportunities, please click here or contact Redline's Talent Acquisition & Training Manager, Natalie Tyler on 01582 878808 or email