Attracting and Retaining the Millennial Generation: Do Young Workers Require Special Consideration?
Recruitment and retention are vital components of any staffing strategy, even during a slow economy. Regardless of the state of the job market, employers need to aggressively recruit talented workers. And once great employees are on board, they’ll be more productive if they’re managed carefully, respected, and given the resources they need for success.
So if you’re staffing an office with a high percentage of millennial workers between the ages of 18 and 25, do you need to alter your HR approach and bend over backwards to accommodate this special demographic? For some management experts the answer is clear: absolutely.
But our Manhattan College class discussed the issue on Wednesday, and not all of us were in complete agreement. Millennials are valuable employees, no doubt. The energy, enthusiasm, and high risk tolerance they bring to the office can lend powerful support to company goals. But when it comes to managing them, not everyone believes that they benefit from special treatment. The millennials in your office may not have earned the white glove approach, and despite their apparent fragility, they may not want it. In the end, making special accommodations for them based on cultural myths may do your company more harm then good. Here are a few arguments from both sides of the debate:
The Pipeline: Take Care of Your Millennials and They’ll Take Care of You
Nurturing millennials and picking them up when they fall may seem like a logical way to deal with young, enthusiastic and emotionally sensitive employees. That’s because it is. Young workers are easily crushed and disillusioned, but if you encourage them and stand behind them win or lose, they’ll keep caring about their jobs long after the point when many employees become hardened, risk-averse and self-serving. This doesn’t mean letting them play on Facebook all day. But it does mean giving them a break when they fail, pairing them with carefully chosen mentors, and providing training in their own language. Nurtured young workers become loyal, experienced older workers, and you want your best employees to stay on your team.
Teach Millennials To Swim: Push Them into the Deep End
Offering training sessions in text-speak? Allowing social media use during working hours? Picking up the hand-holding process where helicopter parents left off? No, no and no. Younger workers become valuable, experienced older workers only when they’re pushed beyond their comfort zones. If you treat millennials like adults, they’ll learn to act like adults, and they’ll gain priceless self-confidence as they do so. Your company will reap the benefits, and so will they.