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Give millennials what they value to keep your best young talent
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Give millennials what they value to keep your best young talent 

Recently, Eva Schoenleitner, vice-president of product marketing at Sage, wrote an article on how IT departments can learn from millennials’ inherent technology knowledge and adopt new work styles in the business environment to stay ahead of the competition. From this article, we recognized that organizations can benefit from millennials’ familiarity with technology as they represent the next generation of knowledge workers.

Looking at companies from a macro level, those seeking to hire and retain millennial talent need to nurture a strong sense of commitment among these workers. While this age group shares “a remarkable absence of allegiance” to their employers according to the global Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, they are particularly drawn to organizations that “emulate their personal values” and that can appeal to their sense of social purpose.

Nancy Harris Sage software

Employers should rethink their employee recruitment and retention strategy or risk losing some of their best talents. Small and mid-sized companies are often more at risk of losing talent because they have limited resources relative to larger competitors.

The most successful small and mid-sized companies we’ve worked with have implemented four main strategies to keep millennial employees motivated, productive, and engaged:

  1. Give them a mission with a social purpose

Millennials believe that businesses should be measured on more than just financial performance, and remain optimistic about businesses’ potential to do good. They want companies to behave in an ethical manner and look up to leaders who are committed to improving society. Establishing a corporate mission, which includes a social purpose as part of the organization’s culture, is a first step towards bolstering loyalty among millennial employees.

  1. Create a talent-first culture

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, only 28 per cent of millennials feels their current organizations are making “full use” of the skills and talents they have to offer. By prioritizing employees and training opportunities, millennials will feel more valued and motivated. Coupled with the company’s mission, they will have a greater sense of purpose within the organization.

  1. Provide tools and resources to provide development opportunities

Many millennials feel that they are often overlooked for promotion or leadership opportunities. Offering resources, support, training, and new opportunities to those wishing to take on additional challenges or leadership roles will foster a greater sense of self-worth and instill confidence in employees. Companies that support corporate and social leadership ambitions among their employees ultimately build loyalty.

  1. Provide recognition

Recognition, whether it be through promotion, flexible hours, time off in lieu, office celebrations, awards, or spot bonuses, cultivates a sense of pride and ownership among employees. Establishing a formalized recognition program is essential for building loyalty not only among millennial employees but also across the entire organization.

Organizations that proactively create and establish missions with a social purpose, build working environments that put employees first, offer resources and training to develop employees, and provide opportunities for recognition and performing social good, will instill a culture of employee loyalty and will put themselves in a positive position to retain top talent.

Nancy Harris is executive vice president and managing director of accounting software company Sage. She’s passionate about championing the causes of small and medium sized businesses.

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