How to Retain Millennial and Gen Z Employees

A new era of workplace requirements has taken the labor force by storm. See how your business can appeal to Millennial and Gen Z talent to keep them with your organization for years to come.

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How to Retain Millennial and Gen Z Employees

Here's what you need to know:

  • Millennials currently make up the largest portion of the U.S. labor force
  • Following closely behind both in age and workplace saturation are Gen Zers, who currently make up 13% of the workforce and could reach 27% by 2025
  • To help retain Millennial and Gen Z employees, institute flexible working environments and schedules
  • Foster an inclusive, diverse, and safe workplace, and provide employees an opportunity to work with a purpose
  • Create opportunities for upward career mobility and growth

Millennials currently make up the largest portion of the U.S. labor force. By 2025, they’re expected to take up over half of the workforce. Following closely behind both in age and workplace saturation are Gen Z job seekers. They currently make up 13% of the workforce and could reach 27% by 2025.

These generational employees are taking the job market by storm. As they seek their place in the workforce, they’re not settling for less.

These professionals demand work-life balance and attention to their well-being. Compensation is likely at the top of many candidates’ considerations. For these groups of people, however, purpose and mental health are just as important when job shopping.

Facilitating an aware environment can help increase the retention of valuable talent. Businesses also need to allow room for growth and professional development.

When companies make these upgrades to business processes, workers are more motivated, engaged, and productive.

As it pertains to the 20-to-40-somethings, some values need retouching to create better businesses. Companies should begin thinking of strategies like these to best attract and retain top talent.

Institute flexible working environments and schedules

A report from Deloitte shows how more Gen Z individuals report feeling stressed or anxious “most” of the time. With this important development, it’s easy to notice how many more people are focusing on their mental health. As it pertains to Gen Zers, this seems to be of top importance.

One way to align with mental health awareness more closely is to provide more flexibility in the workplace. After the pandemic, flexible working environments and schedules became a hot commodity.

COVID-19 caused mental health to plummet for millions of Americans, and new remote work protocols helped many cope. Being safe at home while still being able to make money relieved stress for 75% of survey participants.

As the world shuffled back into work, the preference for flexible work was evident. Disrespect, childcare issues, and not enough flexibility were among the top reasons U.S. workers left their jobs in 2021. It was clear that COVID-19 had permanently made an impact on how people wanted to spend their time.

Millennials and Gen Zers both recognize their human needs. They require the work-life balance necessary to take care of themselves.

Settling for less is simply not an option. That would mean they’re compromising their mental health for a business that seemingly could care less.

More companies are seeing the increased financial and branding aspects of flexibility. Ignoring the need to optimize the workplace in this way can put them at a disadvantage.

Allowing employees to work where and when they can helps retain the best talent. They are more committed and engaged in their work, which creates a domino effect leading to increased sales.

Plus, with more conscious advocacy for mental health, the competition is strong.

Foster an inclusive, diverse, and safe workplace

Gen Z is the most diverse group of people. Millennials and Gen Zers include more balanced ethnic backgrounds than any other generation. They lead in gender, sexuality, and religious inclusivity, and they expect their companies to do as well.

An inclusive and diverse workplace should make everyone feel safe, included, and valuable. This is as it pertains to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, disability, and more.

Having an inclusive environment begins at the branding level. Companies should be more aware of their site language and images to ensure they’re displaying a better level of diversity.

Job descriptions should use inclusive language. This is to make sure no qualified person feels discouraged to apply based on who they are or where they place their values. A broader sense of diversity gives businesses fresh perspectives on creative ideas in the workplace.

An inclusive and diverse workplace should make everyone feel safe, included, and valuable.

Professional collaboration also becomes more effective in an inclusive working environment. When more voices are respectfully heard, more innovation can take place.

An employee experience platform performed a study on employees. It concluded that a more diverse and inclusive working environment made them 5 times more likely to stay at their companies for a long time.

It’s clear that a more diverse workplace is necessary for a Millennial or Gen Z employee. Everyone should feel comfortable and important in their workplace. As it pertains to these generations of talent, there isn’t much room for negotiation.

Life experiences and personal preferences help drive more forward-thinking collaborative efforts. Stifling creativity because of orientation or physical ability shuns a huge mass of potential staff.

Provide employees an opportunity to work with a purpose

Both groups have been very verbal about their passions for a better world. As a result, they want to work for businesses that align with those same values. Millennials and Gen Zers have a “purpose-over-pay” standard.

That just means they’re more aware of how meaningful their experiences are. These virtues are more likely to exceed their need for immense compensation.

A report from Deloitte states Millennials, in particular, are looking for work that motivates their big ideas. They want to work for a business that helps them achieve their professional, personal, and socioeconomic goals. Many of these individuals would be negatively averted by a company’s lack of communal commitment.

“Business as usual” isn’t the case for these generations of workers. Jobs that elicit more meaning and a purpose for social impacts are more likely to retain their talent. They require impactful careers driven by passionate leaders.

A Harvard Business Review study found that only 28% of respondents felt a connection to their company’s purpose. To engage them and keep them interested in a business, they need to have better alignment with the vision of the people they work for.

Create room for upward career mobility and growth

Learning and development opportunities were the 2nd-most important reasons a Millennial or Gen Z worker chooses an organization to work for.

These individuals need leg room to grow within a company. If it’s clear that they can achieve both professional growth and a happier workplace elsewhere, they will resign without a second thought.

A part of the reason for 90% of Millennials staying at their jobs is upward career mobility. With more knowledge and chances for advancement, businesses will see more retention of their Millennials and Gen Zers.

Mentorships and training opportunities should be available to workers. Peer training allows employees to discuss their experiences for better industry insight. With more experience and education, they can advance within their company and profit from their careers.

Facilitating a healthy, happy work environment is key

Hiring and retaining Millennial and Gen Z talent continues to be the focus of more organizations. Every generation of workers comes with its unique requirements. These generations have breached the workforce and demanded their share of respect and attention.

Keeping a workforce of the best talent doesn’t have to be difficult. Facilitating a healthier, happier work culture is just the start.

Having an inclusive array of benefits, perks, and resources creates the working environment that candidates crave. To make a statement in any industry and compete with the job market, companies are going to have to make a few new commitments.

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