This post is based on one I originally wrote for HRZone.com
Millennials are no longer the new kids on the block. They started entering work 19 years ago, and are now the largest generation in today’s workforce.
Before long, they’ll not just be the largest generation of those in work… they’ll be the largest generation of managers, then leaders, then CXOs.
Unfortunately, some organisations are finding it difficult to attract, nurture and retain the best of these Millennials.
Over time, this will mean that they lose their top talent and are left with whoever remains. Undoubtedly this will put them at a competitive disadvantage.
So, here are three common ways organizations are turning off their best Millennials and practically pushing them out the door (and how to avoid them):
1. Putting limits on technology and tools
As I explored in this article on 3 ways Millennials differ to other generations, Millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet.
As a result, your top Millennial talent will expect technology in your organization to be an enabler, not a blocker, so that they can be the best they can be.
Blocking video and social networking sites is a particularly naive move because a) Talented Millennials use these resources for real work and b) Lazy Millennials will just use their phones instead.
2. Making them feel like they’re treading water
Many articles suggest that Millennials are more ambitious than other generations.
Regardless of whether this is really accurate for the generation as a whole, one thing is for sure: your A-player Millennials are rightly ambitious.
If you communicate to them that success in their role means a promotion, they’ll aim for that. When you tell them there isn’t a manager role available yet, or that they have to wait until the next round of promotions, they’ll feel like they aren’t progressing.
Your top dogs will soon find their way out of a small yard.
Instead, provide them with a career development path based on experiences and skills so that there are no barriers or boundaries to what they can achieve. I explore this further in my ‘5 Nutrients for Growing A-players’ – look out for a post on this soon.
3. Leaving them to ‘get on with it’
You might imagine that your A-players will appreciate being given space to complete tasks their own way, be a self-starter, and manage their own development. Giving them some space is important (they won’t want to be micro managed), however, too much space feels like neglect.
Your Millennial A-players will want to feel like they are contributing, doing a good job, and that their own development is being supported.
As a manager, speak to A-players first (rather than your ‘problem-employees’) to ensure they are getting the recognition, feedback and support they need. Once done, they’ll be motivated to go and achieve great things, leaving you to sort out those people that have issues.
As an HR or L&D professional, ensure you are providing coaching/mentoring to your top talent, with opportunities for regular feedback from colleagues.
What do you think? What other factors are big turn-offs for top talent?