Monster Archived Webinar: Millennial Retention Requirements
November 9, 2011
Do you know what benefit Millennial employees want 3 TIMES MORE than cash bonuses?
Millennials, or the Gen Y workforce born between 1982 and 2002, are success-oriented but can be very high maintenance. They don’t adapt to corporate cultures. Your company must be “Millennial-friendly” or risk a high turnover rate with this not-so-tolerant generation.
With mass Boomer retirement starting, and the smaller number of Gen X workers replacing them, smart employers are currently scrambling to determine not only how to recruit their next generation of young employees, but how to retain the Millennials they have now.
Lisa Orrell, author of 2 best-selling books, Millennials Incorporated and Millennials into Leadership, explains the eight critical retention requirements Millennials seek from an employer. Lisa’s insight is backed by recent research into the Millennial generation and her years of experience working with multi-generations in organizations large and small.
In this webinar you will learn:
- What makes the Millennial worker tick?
- Where do you find and recruit this next generation worker?
- How can you motivate, inspire and retain your Millennial workers?
Learn how your company can keep its best & brightest future leaders.
Monster would like to thank Lisa Orell for presenting today's webinar.
Receive a 10% discount on any of the seminars or workshops Lisa offers. Simply mention this monster.com webinar!
Lisa Orrell, The Generation Relations Expert
Lisa Orrell, The Generation Relations Expert is an author, in-demand speaker, and Leadership Coach for Millennials (aka Gen Y). Lisa helps organizations better engage with Millennial talent and improve the generational dynamics within their workforce. She also conducts popular seminars & workshops for Millennial employees and college students on how to be effective young leaders at work and create a Personal Leadership Brand for career success. Contact Lisa at The Orrell Group.com
Check out the Monster Infographic: Who Is More Entrepreneurial Minded: Gen Y, Gen X or Boomers?
Webinar Transcript: Millennial Retention Requirements
Good day, everyone. I'm Randy Achman, a marketing director here at Monster, and I'd like to thank you for joining us today for this exclusive webinar hosted by Monster Intelligence. Today's webinar is titled "Millennium Retention Requirements." In this Monster Intelligence webinar, we're joined by Lisa Orrell, generations relation expert, who's going to detail the eight critical retention requirements Millennials seek from an employer. For our Twitter fans, you can follow the conversation at #monsterlive.
All right, before we get started I just have a few housekeeping items to mention. This presentation is being recorded, and a copy of the presentation as well as the recording will be posted on hiring.monster.com within two to three days. Just click on the Resource Center tab and go to HR Events. All participants will receive a direct link to today's materials. Monster Intelligence provides insight to help HR professionals improve their recruiting success, accelerate worker performance, and retain top talents. We analyze and collect data for more than four million unique job searches that are performed on monster.com each and every day. We invite you to visit hiring.monster.com and read some of our other in-depth reports and analysis, all located under the Resource Center tab. There will be some time after the presentation, and our meeting manager will help facilitate the Q&A. Please feel free to type in your questions at any time in the available space during the event, and we'll try to include them in the Q&A session. Additionally, if you are getting your audio through the telephone, please know that you will be placed on mute until the Q&A session begins.
All right, I'd like to welcome today's speaker, Lisa Orrell. Lisa's a generation relations expert and an author. She's an in-demand speaker and a leadership coach for Millennials — also known as Gen Y. Lisa helps organizations better engage with Millennial talent and improves the generational dynamics within their workforce. She conducts popular seminars and workshops for Millennial employees and college students on how to be effective young leaders at work and create a personal leadership brand for career success. Lisa, I'd like to turn the webinar over to you.
Thank you, Randy. Good morning, everybody, or good afternoon, depending on where you're located. I'm glad you're all here. Thanks so much for coming and thank you to monster.com for hosting this great event today — hopefully, you'll think it's great at the end of it. I'm going to go ahead and get started here, because we have a lot of information to cover. As you can see, we're going to be talking about the eight-key thing your company needs to know in order to retain Gen Y talent.
With that, let's go ahead and get into what the agenda is going to cover. We're going to be talking about why this is important. We're going to start by talking about understanding the generations in general, because that will help give you an overall idea of different dynamics that can occur in the workforce that do affect retention of all generations, but in particular the Millennials themselves. Then we'll get into the actual eight strategies, and there will be plenty of time at the end for some Q&A, and I'll throw it back to Randy to take us through that process. Let's go ahead and get started with why this is important. Actually, we're going to start with this part, and then I'll get into why this is important. It gives you a good idea of the generational snapshot here, because this tends to be a very typical question I get in any of the webinars, seminars, or workshops I do.
What you see here are obviously the different time frames. Keep in mind that with any generation, there's always about a five- to 10-year kind of fudge factor on the beginning or end. It's not an exact science. And one thing you'll want to know, too, or be aware of, is that a lot of times dissension in the workforce tends to be more between Gen X and Millennials — also known as Gen Y — because they tend to share more of a sibling dynamic than that of a parental dynamic The Millennials and the Boomers have. We figure most Millennials have a Boomer at home and most Boomers have a Millennial at home, so they kind of get each other, although it does get a little different when I hear some Boomers who complain or have challenges with the Millennials they manage.
I always laugh and say, "Well, you created them." It's just a little bit different when it's somebody else's 23-year old who's working for you. So that's something to keep in mind with your Gen X and Millennials. And also — and we'll get into this in a second — the difference between those two generations is so vastly, vastly different in terms of what they experienced growing up and the types of individuals and adults they've become now. The challenge becomes, for many of the workforce, e.g. Gen X, you've got about a 35-year-old or a 36-year old who's managing 23-, 24-year olds. Typically in larger corporations, not many Boomers are managing Millennials directly.
Let's go ahead and move on here. Why is this important overall? You take a look at this quote here, "Generationally determined lifestyles and social values exercise as much influence on buying and purchasing as more commonly understood demographic factors like income, education and gender view, maybe even more." Now I realize that's not workforce related, that's more consumer related, but it does translate very much into the workforce as well. And we're starting to see that one of the bigger diversity issues nowadays doesn't tend to go with ethnicity or gender, but we're finding a lot of the diversity issues, too, are based on generational dynamics. So the topic of why this is important, I really want you to take a look at these stats. These are pretty astounding, if you ask me. That one Boomer is retiring every eight seconds, on average. At a typical large company in the United States, can you imagine a large corporation where 30-40 percent of the workforce is going to be walking out the door due to retirement? We're dealing with the fact that Gen X is such a small generation, compared to the Millennials or the Boomers. So the bottom line is, there's not enough headcount to fit the chairs that are going to be empty for entry-level and mid-level management positions.
One other thing that's not up here but I want to point out is — I'm not sure if any of you are aware of this — but we are dealing with a labor shortage in the United States, ranging anywhere from between 30 and 40 million employees, starting now through the next 20 years. Now the key with that, it's 30-40 million skilled and educated workers. That is why companies — smart companies — are really jumping on the bandwagon to figure out how to more effectively not only recruit Millennial talents, but how to manage and retain them as well, because it's the future of their workforce. As the economy starts to get better, the fight for talent over the next couple of years is going to explode, because, as I said, we're just not going to have enough headcount to fill all the jobs that are required by many of the corporations across the United States.
Let's start talking about understanding the generations, and I love this quote because it's so true. I find that many managers simply don't take the time to get to know their employees — everything from a generational dynamic as well as who they are as individuals — and that's key to obviously having a successful team and overall workforce. Let's talk about understanding the generations as we go, and as you can see here, why it's important. Many of us filter our perceptions based on how people look, how they act, what their age is — and we're going to get into ageism, reverse ageism, here in a second because that's the key thing that I had many Millennials complain to me about as a challenge for them.
But it's very important to understand the different generational dynamics in the workforce that people can communicate in much better ways, in ways that all of them understand. In terms of the Boomers — and I love this quote as well — "We wanted what they want. We felt we couldn't ask. Herein lies the truth, what young workers want isn't so different from what everyone else wants. However, young workers are asking for it." And that's the truth. Millennials are coming into the workforce and saying, "Well, rather than have to pay my dues for five or 10 years before I can have flex-time, why can't I have it now? Why can't I work from home now? Why do I have to work in a cubicle now?"
And you can see here, the different dynamic. Boomers took on what was happening in their life at the time. They had stay-at-home moms, most families had two parents, they were in an economic boom. As a result, you got these very positive traits that a lot of times go very hand-in-hand with the dynamics of the Millennials themselves. Some of the challenging traits, yeah, they can be a little challenging with technology, which is why I tell a lot of companies to have reverse mentor programs. You can help Boomers stay up on the current trends in technologies that your companies implement. Sometimes they put process ahead of results, which can sometimes be very challenging for Millennials, because they're constantly looking at better, faster, more productive ways of getting things done, so there could be some clashes there. And sometimes they can be a tad judgmental in terms of piercings, tattoos, their preferences in terms of how you communicate with them. They might only want phone and email, where the Millennials are very into texting. Millennials are looking at email as if it's archaic these days. Those are some overall Boomer traits.
Now we get into Generation Jones. Some of you may be going, "Who the heck is Generation Jones?" Jonathan Pontell, who it says right there is a leading social commentator, he coined the phrase Generation Jones. I was very thankful he did because I'm 47 years old, born in 1964, and I could never really relate to all the dynamics and traits they said are about Boomers, because I felt like I was so young when Vietnam was happening and Woodstock and all that kind of stuff — I was like 3. And then, I couldn't really relate to Gen X, but being born in '64, I was considered right on the cusp of either one. So with Generation Jones — and he came up with the term based on the terms "Jones" and forth, which was pretty popular in the '70s. There's a quote that relates to the Jones. I was very happy that he came up with this breakout of the generations, because when I took a look at it, I was like "Oh my gosh! That's me. He's just handled my identity crisis."
Like I said, I couldn't relate to Beatlemania and all that kind of stuff. I was just too young. But certainly Pong, and MTV, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, all that kind of stuff, that's my demographic. This is what I could relate to overall. Tail-end of civil rights, I remember watching Watergate when I was like 10 or 11 and starting to be more aware of what was happening in the world. That instance really influenced me on leadership — with what happened with Nixon — and realizing, "Wow, you can't trust all leaders." In terms of positive traits, a lot of times it's very similar to that of the Boomers. It says under challenging, yes, right there. One minute I'm very engaging and want to be social with you like Boomers do, and one minute I'm kind of like Gen X where a lot of times I'm not really that warm and fuzzy about things, and I sometimes can have a curt style. I get into a lot of that in one of the seminars I do that's about improving communications across the generations, where it really talks about the communication skills and the challenges workforces face based on generation.
Let me get into the Gen Xers. I love this quote from Dennis Miller. This always cracked me up. "It's no wonder the Xers are angst-ridden. They feel America's greatness has passed. They got to the cocktail party 20 minutes too late, and all that's left are those little wieners and a half-empty bottle of Zima." Totally cracks me up. If you look at what has created them — certainly as they've gotten older, and now they're marrying and they have children — there's a happiness factor that's gone way up in Gen X as compared to where they were in their younger 20s. However, some of this does come into play in the workforce, like I mentioned, with how they are. They tend to, a lot of times, have more of an abrupt communication style, which doesn't work well with the Millennials. They tend to be adverse to wanting to communicate a lot, have meetings a lot, have one-on-one sessions a lot. The Gen X grew up in an area, as you can see here, where we have soaring divorce rates, working moms. They were the generation where the term "latchkey kid" was coined, because suddenly they're getting home from school in the afternoon, and no one's there; they've got to lock themselves in. They're getting messages like, "Be careful out there." It was a very, very odd time in our country when Gen Xers came to be in their formative years, and as a result, as you can imagine, they're very solo by nature. They tend to be very creative. They tend to be very, very independent, and again, a lot of times, those traits can clash with the Millennials, which in turn then affects retention of Millennials.
So a lot of the management training I do, and leadership training, and generational dynamics training, all have entire rooms — 50 to 100 to 200 managers — who are front-line managers for Millennials and about 90 percent of them typically are Gen Xers. And they do have an attitude about Millennials. I met a gal on the plane the other day who was a Gen Xer, and she asked what I do. She was in her early 30s, worked for a big ad agency in New York. She asked me about what I do, and I told her, and I said, "Yeah. You guys tends to conflict with Millennials pretty well. It tends to be an issue." And she said, "Oh yeah. All of my counterparts who are all in my age range, all of us Gen Xers, we have a really hard time with the Millennials," and she actually got pretty intense about it. It's something I see and I hear on a regular basis.
Then you get into the Millennials. This quote here is critical. This is one of the key things I really, really hope you get from this today. "The Millennial's psychological contract is within the relationships embedded within the organization, not the organization itself." That is very, very different from generations before them. The generations before them — Boomers, Gen Jones, Gen X — typically were very brand-focused in terms of, wherever they worked, that's what they were loyal to. They cared if they didn't like their boss, but they would still stay at work anyway because they had a job. Even if they weren't feeling challenged, they'd stay because you just stayed. My mom stayed 17 years at a job she hated, but that was just part of her upbringing. And with the Millennials themselves, your brand may be what attracts them to take your job offer and work for you, but once they come through the door and get started, they're not loyal to that typically too much anymore. It's more about what types of relationships they have with the individuals in the organization, and they want close ties to their bosses, and they want close ties. And if they don't have those with their co-workers, and if they don't have those things, they typically will leave. Those will be some of the things we'll be discussing in a little bit.
But when you look at the Millennials, you've got to look at the overall picture of how they came to be in terms of what makes them want a lot of recognition, and wanting pats on the back, and impatience with advancement, and all of that. When they were born into the scene, they were being told from day one that they were special. Now, it wasn't just from their Boomer parents. You've got to look at it, that our government was putting things into place that had never put into place before. Suddenly, with their generation, bicycle helmets became law. That's the government's way of saying, "You're valued and we don't want you to get hurt." I don't know about you guys, but when I was younger, I could skateboard down a hill, and the only thing between the asphalt and my skull was my hair. There were no laws about bicycle helmets. This is the generation where child car seats became law and required. We used to jump around the back seat as my mom was flying down the freeway going 80 miles an hour. Now you can get arrested for that. So even the government was coming into play at that point and letting them know they were valued and respected.
Part of the positive traits is they're amazing multi-taskers. They're very into being team players. They like to work in groups a lot. I've had clients where they have wiped out entire floors of cubicles and put in open desks, almost like an old newsroom, so everybody could communicate more openly, and they found that productivity and retention for the Millennial talent went way up when they implemented that. Challenging traits. Yeah, they can get bored fast, but it's because their minds work so darn quick. They don't always get the old way, as I've mentioned, with the status quo, Boomers thing where we keep it this way because this is how we've always done it. And certainly, yes, they can get impatient with advancement because they have been told they can do anything they put their mind to, and they're also a generation where immediate gratification came into play in a pretty big way with them. We'll get into some ways to handle that because the impatience with advancement is a very key thing for the retention of them.
Let's get into the eight retention steps, and I really like this quote from Claire, "Do unto others, keeping their preferences in mind." That one-size-fits-all approach doesn't tend to work anymore in the workforce in terms of the motivational reward systems and all of that. It's been proven time and time again that it doesn't. So let's talk about understanding — we've talked a little bit about what makes Millennials tick, and let's talk now about some of the retention tips that tends to work out for them as well. This quote again is very, very true. Yeah, they can be very high-maintenance, but they're also very high-performing when their needs are being met, and when they're communicated with in a way that works for them. Millennial retention tip number one: set up an environment for idea-sharing. The reason I put this in here is because it is key. I see it on a regular basis when I'm conducting workshops. not only for Millennials, but when I'm conducting workshops about Millennials. There are a lot of Millennials who confide in me that they feel they suffer from reversed ageism, where there'll be at meetings and they want to share their opinion, but no one will take them seriously or listen to what they have to say for a very long period of time because they feel like they don't have the experience.
So what I recommend is that if you tend to find that, or if you ask your Millennials — aside from the other employees in your department — if they feel like their ideas are being heard and they tell you no, then I suggest putting together a special side meeting maybe once a week or once a month, just with the Millennials, and providing them with a safe place to provide their ideas. The reason for that is, number one, they tend to have really good ideas. Number two, if they're not feeling heard and respected, they'll leave. What a Boomer or Gen Jones will put up with for five and 10 years in the workforce, the Millennials will put up for typically about five to 10 months. Also, have separate meetings with them on a one-on-one basis, because again, they really like that close connection, and give them that opportunity to put that out there. It sounds like common sense but it's not common practice. It's a very, very important thing is to provide them with that safe place to be heard, because again, it translates into really improving your chances of retaining them.
Communicate often. This is a big one. This is typically where when I've got a whole audience full of Gen X managers, when I give them the statistics, they tend to slump in their chairs and shake their heads and just go — I hear the entire room go, "Oh, man." And that's based on this particular statistic I'm about ready to share with you. Robert Half International. in conjunction with another international job and retention company. did a study based on what Millennials are looking for in the workforce. One of the questions they asked in their survey — a national survey with more than 3,000 Millennials across the country, was, "How often do you want to communicate with your direct report manager?" More than 70 percent of them responded, "At least once a day." Now, for a lot of older generations it's like, "I don't care if I talk to my boss once a week," or "I don't care if I talk to my boss like once a month. I just want to do my job." The Millennials want to have some sort of communication on a regular basis with their bosses and their direct reports, as well as their co-workers, but they really like those close ties.
I'll give you another example about how deep this can go. I'm sure some of you will shake your heads, and some of you might even go, "Oh yeah, that's happened to me." I'll tell you, when I have live audiences where I can see everybody in person, and I ask them how many has experienced this, 25 percent of them will raise their hand every single time. And that is, when they go on vacation and they hear from their Millennial employees, and not with work-related questions, but things like sending them a text saying, "I hope you're having a good time. We miss you here at the office. We can't wait for you to come back." I have more managers tell me they have that happen to them on a regular basis, like all the time. So that's another example of the close ties Millennials are seeking.
So if you or your management team are not stepping up in terms of how often you're requiring your direct report managers to communicate with the Millennial employees, that is a big boo-boo. That is something you want to talk to your management teams about and see about correcting that and increasing your one-on-one communications with their Millennials. Again, it is very, very key to retaining them. Based on that study and based on all the Millennials I talk to on a regular basis, and all the presentations I do for medium to large corporations across the country, all the Millennials say the same thing. They all completely agree with that, so they're telling you what they need when it comes to that. They're putting it right out there.
Let's see here. One other thing I wanted to mention about that, too, is when you do set up your one-on-one time with your Millennial talent, don't cancel those meetings. I've had – I just was at a large corporation the other day doing a workshop and had at least half the Millennials come up to me afterward saying, "I really wish my boss had been here to hear a lot of what you had to say because he or she cancelled our one-on-one sessions all the time." Obviously, that affects people's self-esteem; that makes them not feel valued. And when people don't feel valued, they don't feel like working for you anymore or working at your company anymore.
Training and mentorship. We're now at Millennial retention tip number three. This is a really big one. If you don't get anything out of this webinar today, please get this one. This one's huge. There's a recent study done at Price Waterhouse Coopers where they did a huge global CEO study, and part of it was also drilling down to the Millennials in corporations. One of the areas they talked about was training and development, what types of bonuses and benefits Millennials are most interested in. What are the highest ranking ones? And training and development received three times — three times — the vote over other benefits such as quarterly bonuses, annual bonuses, extra time off. All of those things you think younger people would want, because as the younger people, they tend to be paid less than most people in the company, because they're entry-level or they've been around just for couple of years. Everybody thinks they really want the money, money, money. And this is a survey and recent report that was done this year. This is not two or three years ago. This was done about four months ago this year. Again, that's what they're looking for.
The other thing in terms of mentorship is they really want mentors — really, really, really want mentors. I hosted a panel. I was a moderator for a panel where I had six Millennial women, each from a different company and each from a large company that you would know. They had six different people from six different companies. I asked them this question, and they didn't know I was going to ask them this. I said, "If you could change one thing about your current company what would it be?" They could have said anything. They could have said, "Well, we want a Starbucks in the lobby," or, "We want sand volleyball pits in the back of the building," that kind of stuff. Things people typically think Millennials would want. And all of them, each from a different company, said they would want a better mentorship program or mentoring in general. When I bring this up in management and leadership training seminars where I've got Gen Jones and Gen X and some Boomers in there, and bringing this up, and I've also got some Millennials, I'll look at Millennials and I'll say, "Do you agree with that statistic?" And every single time, they will nod their heads, and they say, "Yeah, I want training and development." Not only just for personal career development but also for skill-building. And I also ask about the mentorship, and across the board, they all say yes, they want mentorship.
So if you don't have a mentorship in place in your company, whether it's formal or informal, it's something you really want to be looking into, because it really will help with the retention of Millennials. Especially with the training and development, that's very, very different than the mindset of Gen X. With Gen X, training and management and leadership training and development really went on a decline because they're like, "No, I know how to do it. I don't want to do it." They were adverse to it. And here are the Millennials coming into the scene saying, "No, we want it." There's a huge uptick right now in management and leadership training for Millennial talent.
Millennial retention tip number four: structured paths for advancement. Millennials are planners. They're not big on surprises. They want to know where they're going to go, how they're going to get there, what's going to happen — all that fun stuff. So some smart companies put into place things like three-, six-, and 12-month planning for them. During the next few months, this is what we will do. At the end of three months, this is what you can expect, and this is what's going to happen in the next three months to get you to the six-month point. That type of structured planning for them is very, very helpful, and it does really help with retention. Another key thing under structured paths for advancement are career assessments. Just because a millennial might have received a degree in this major, it doesn't necessarily mean it was the right major for him or her. So then you're hiring him or her for a position in that type of role, finding out he or she is not performing that well. It might be because you find out later that their parents basically said, "If you don't do this major, we're not paying for college." All kinds of stuff like that happens.
So in finding out the right fit, one example is, I do a lot of speaking for Johnson & Johnson, and I was just in their Florida location a couple of weeks ago. This one Millennial I spoke with, she goes, "Yeah, I got hired by Johnson & Johnson, and I was in the procurement department, and I thought that's really where I wanted to be. But then I just wasn't doing well and I was bored." But she's a sharp gal. She's a really good employee and so they put her through a career assessment. Really, what came to light was being on the other end of the phone, just worrying about, you know, procurement and distribution and all that kind of stuff, really wasn't her strong suit. Her strong suit was sales. So since then, they put her in the sales department. I saw her the other day when I was there doing a workshop, and she was telling me about how much happier she is and how much more she was selling. Had Johnson & Johnson not looked at doing a career assessment for her and maybe just let her go because she wasn't performing in her current role, they would have lost a really wonderful employee who, as it turned out, is doing a great job in the other department that's totally different.
The other thing, too, is that Deloitte has done, and some other companies have done, they've put in what they call the three to five years into employment life change guidance program. Because who a 22- or 23-year-old is and what his or her life experiences are at that time is very different, a lot of times, than when you're 28 or 29. Those three to four years of growth can be very critical. It could be you purchased your first home for the first time. You've gotten married. You're 28 and you have a child. That makes you a little bit different than who you were at 22. And so they'll put things into place where they'll actually provide them with a safe place to come in and talk about the changes going on in their lives, how the corporation and company can support them better in these life changes, and really embrace them so they don't lose them to perhaps a competitor who is maybe more understanding to their situation. So again those are some key points to look at of when it comes to structured path for advancement.
Millennial tip number five. We tend to keep number five as rewards with increased responsibility. Before everybody on this call freaks out like, "Oh no, promoting. It's too early, no, we don't want to do that." What you have to realize is, it doesn't mean you have to promote them. It means what you have to do is look at ways that can challenge them, so you can challenge them outside of what their entry-level job may be that might have some monotony to it, and not be the most exciting thing, but keep them engaged. There are different ways to do that. You can have them involved in the company blog, writing for the company blog. You can have them involved in the internal company newsletter.
You can have them form a task force together to put together a fun event for your department or for your company — something they're doing outside of what you hired them to do on a day-to-day basis to keep them interested and to keep them engaged. You can also have your Millennial talents, if one of them has a strong suit when it comes to social media, is maybe put together a brown bag lunch, how-to luncheons. that they facilitate. So it's still on company time, and it might be from noon to 1 o'clock in the afternoon, but it gives them the opportunity to put together some sort of how-to program they think would benefit the people in this company, whether it's the whole company, the departments, whatever, but giving them increased responsibility in those ways.
Because by the time you get a Millennial who's coming to you and saying, "I'm feeling bored and I don't feel challenged," at that point, as I'm talking to you, a lot of times, by the time they're ready to talk to you about it, they've been feeling it longer — for a lot longer. They've just now mustered up the courage to want to discuss it with you. And at that time, they may also be starting to look around at other job opportunities. So that's a key thing, rather than wait for them to come to that point, there are companies, such as Marriott Corporations, where they require their front-level and upper-level managers to get together on a regular basis and discuss the topic of, if a Millennial comes to you and says he or she is bored and not feeling challenged, what can you do? This actually requires them to put together those ideas so they not only have the answers ready to go should a Millennial come say that to them, but they can put those ideas out to Millennials, before the Millennials get to the point of feeling disengaged and bored.
So Millennials like to be doing things outside of just their job. They don't look it as just their job. They want to feel that they're part of a social situation, a strong community. And part of that is, they've got a very blurred line between social life, home life, work life, fun life, all of that. They want to experience all of it in the workforce. So anything you can do to keep them engaged in terms of increasing their responsibility in fun ways, or actually also in very serious ways, will do nothing but benefit you, and it will retain your Millennial talents. So again, if companies like Marriott are taking this seriously, I strongly recommend you take a look at it, too. It's not just me saying this. It's better to be proactive versus reactive.
In terms of millennial retention tip number six, it's difficult a lot of times for Millennials to understand why they have to do a certain mundane task. If you say, "You need to file all of that and put it in a huge Excel file and it's going to be hours and hours of work," and it's really boring — it has to be done but it's really boring — a lot of time you get the, "Why? why?" That's why some people refer to them as Generation Why, spelled W-H-Y. "Why? Why do I have to do this? It doesn't make sense, why, why, why." To be able to say to them and take a couple extra minutes of why they have to do something could make a huge difference in the overall morale, and motivation, and enthusiasm they have for doing it, rather than saying, "You do it because you have to. You do it because it's part of your job," or "Why do I have to do this?" "You do it because everybody else had to do it too." Those types of answers don't work well with Millennials.
To take some extra time and give them the idea of the big picture of how their role or cast is playing within the big picture of the situation and how it impacts it, and how it positively influences it, and how important it is for the big picture and the end result the whole team is looking for, is critical. Sometimes, that can take two minutes. Two minutes of a little explanation versus you being frustrated because they asked why. Because all you want to say is, "Just do it. Because I said so." Taking that extra time can be a very key, inexpensive insurance policy for keeping up the motivation and morale. But unfortunately, especially a lot with Gen X bosses, they don't take that time. They don't take that time. And when a Millennial starts feeling undervalued and disrespected is when he or she starts to leave, and he or she will leave quickly.
So let's go to Millennial retention tip number seven. Again, this might sound like common sense, but it's not common practice. Find out what motivates them. A one-size-fits-all reward approach, it doesn't work. Like I mentioned, it's been proven time and time again. These large corporations or medium companies have this one-size-fits-all reward system — everybody gets a bonus every quarter, everybody gets a plaque, the sales team gets a plaque once a year at the sales conference — no, it doesn't work. You have to find out what motivates them on a regular basis. That's why understanding what makes each of your team members tick, it might be that for this person it's a little extra time off. It might be for this person it's a bonus. It might be this person really enjoys snow skiing or snowboarding. So if they accomplish certain tasks you put before them and really hit one out of the ballpark and do a great job on the project, then their goal and what you put toward them is a season pass or a weekend pass to a local ski resort. So really getting creative is key for managers.
And kind of that day of the lazy managers who are just kind of flying under the radar and just being status quo are really going out of date very quickly, because companies are realizing that Millennials are affected and influenced directly by the direct report bosses, more so than generations before them. So it's really picking up, as I mentioned before, management training and leadership training for those people. Again, it's very, very important that your team is aware of this and that you put together your own little ideas for your own little department. It's OK if the company has its overall rewards and recognition policies, but what can you be doing within your own department to make a difference?
So let's move on to our final tip. We've got Millennial retention tip number eight: become a praise culture. There are some big companies that have put a lot of effort into this. Rewards and recognition is on the uprise. I'll give you one quick little factoid to put this in perspective. The number one reason people of any age — of any age — leave a job is not feeling valued. That's the number one reason anyone leaves. Now, certainly in the top five there are things like, "Don't get paid enough," "Not enough room for advancement," "Don't like my boss," all those types of things. But not feeling valued is huge. The difference with the Millennials versus older generations is that their tolerance level is less. So if they're not feeling valued and respected and rewarded on a regular basis — reasonable, not like every single minute — then they will leave faster than generations before them. Boomers, Gen Jones, Gen Xers — they're not always getting pats on the back and positive kudos. They've kind of come to grips of, they'll tolerate it a little bit longer, but eventually they will leave. Because like I said, that statistic or factoid I gave you is based on any age.
Certain companies have taken this very, very seriously. One is, The Scooter Store has a celebrations assistant. You can think of it in terms of something fun you can do within your overall organization — this was a company-wide situation — or within your department. In this particular situation with The Scooter Store, they have it where, you're a manager and you could, say, go to the celebration assistant and say, "You know, Joan or Mark or whoever, did a really great job in the meeting the other day on a special project. I want you to go celebrate and reward them." And this celebrations assistant's job is to go over and throw confetti on the person and say, "This is from your boss saying you did a great job in the meeting, blah blah blah blah blah." And if you don't want confetti, they also will alternate that with helium balloons. Something like 25 pounds a month of confetti, and something like more than 300 balloons.
At first you might be going, "OK, that sounds ridiculous." But if you take a step back, you have to think of it in two ways. Number one, companies don't put things like this in place, and, more importantly, don't keep things like this in place, if they're not seeing a return on the investment and they're not seeing the benefits on it. They'll get rid of it in a heartbeat. They're not going to waste their time with stuff like this. And it's for everybody, and they find that it makes it a fun environment. It also increases the morale for all the different generations, so it's not just the Millennials who are getting confetti thrown around or balloons given to them. It's for everybody. However, here is the other key thing about this. You figure if someone gets confetti thrown around him or her or gets some helium balloons tied to the cubicle or office door or whatever, the whole day, anybody who walks by stops by and goes, "Oh my gosh! What did you do? What happened? What happened?" And it keeps the morale going. It keeps the recognition going. It keeps the reward going for every single person he or she come into contact with who walks by his or her cubicle or office that day. It's actually — if you think about it — it's pretty darn brilliant. And it's super-cheap. Confetti and helium balloons — not that expensive.
Some other things you can think about … I've seen it work where I've talked to mid-level managers. I'm like, "What kind of fun things are you doing within your department to recognize people, outside of their quarterly reviews, or their biannual reviews, the ones that are required by the company?" A lot of times, they're not doing anything, and they wonder why they have morale issues, motivation issues, and why they're having retention issues. I'll suggest things like, "Just go to the local thrift store. Buy some cheap big plate, spray-paint it gold. Give it a name like "You're the awesome employee of the week plate," or whatever. Come up with some tacky jacket, silly tacky hat, a $2 plate, whatever, but something that has prestige associated with it even though it's silly and fun, and give it away once a week. So then this person has the gold plate in his or her office for one week, or this person has it in his or her cubicle, or this one wears the silly hat for the week if he or she wants to or at least set it on the desk where everybody can see it. Anything that says, "You did something special, you did a great job, here you go," that also can be seen by other people so they ask what they did, so that person can then again kind of toot his or her own horn, but in a non-egotistical type of way. You're giving him or the approval to say, "Go ahead and talk about how great you are because you were. It was awesome." Those types of things can make a big difference.
Other things you can consider within the company, or just within your department, is putting together a thanks or praise board and have it online, or an actual dry erase or some tagboard, like cork board, up in an area where everybody can see — in a break room area or a main conference room — where I, as an employee, can go write on it or post on it, "I really want to thank Luann or Steve or whomever for really helping me on that project. I couldn't have done it without her or him," and let your employees praise each other up on that praise and recognition board. Super inexpensive and super big. And it's things like that, that with the Millennials coming into the workforce, companies have thought outside the box and implemented. And here's the key. It has also increased the productivity, the morale, and when you get those things in place — especially morale and motivation — it increases happiness levels, which then increases retention levels, not just for the Millennials, but for the other generations as well.
Other companies, when they implement these types of things, find that it increases the Boomers sticking around. All of a sudden the work environment's more enjoyable. It's more supportive. It's like, "Oh, I was going to retire but the work environment in my department's changed. I want to stick around for a couple of years," and we need the Boomers to stick around longer. We need their brain trust, and we need them not to be retiring at a rapid rate. Everybody can say, "Well, they're not going to be retiring as quickly because of pensions, and 401Ks going down, and property values and all of that." True to a certain degree, but not every Boomer was super, super negatively impacted. Some can still retire or they don't want to retire 100 percent, but they want to work part time. They just want to work part time somewhere else because they're no longer happy in that work environment. All these things I've mentioned, especially these last couple of ones, are things that, overall, can help the entire workforce, not just for the Millennials.
With that, I also wanted to say here before we close, a overall recap is the Millennials expect a lot from their leadership, as we've discussed. They want to communicate often. Remember that statistic — more than 70% said at least once a day, they want their opinions valued and they want mentorship provided, and again, training, training, and more training. Reward and praise your Millennial talents and other age groups often. Challenge them with things outside of just their daily tasks. The bottom line is have fun and enjoy the new generation. Be open to the refreshing perspectives they bring into the workforce, because the companies that do, are finding it's improving the overall generational dynamic, and overall productivity, and happiness of the workforce in general. And before I pass this back to Randy for our Q&A session, I just want to mention here — monster.com was nice enough to let me mention this — that anybody who is viewing this webinar today, or in the recorded download down the road, you all can receive a 10 percent discount on any of the seminars and workshops I offer. If you're interested in knowing what topics I offer, you can just go to my website. My contact information is there on the Monster page for this webinar. And I can provide you also with my complete presentation overview package that outlines the different topics I offer, as well as the pricing involved. Again, you'll receive the 10 percent discount simply by mentioning this monster.com webinar.
So there's my contact information. The three books I have written here, "Millennials Incorporated," that was my first book about how to recruit, manage and retain Millennials. My second book under there is "Millennials Into Leadership." I wrote that directly for the Millennials about how to be young, effective, respected leaders in the workforce. I do quite a few workshops on that as well for Millennial talent, Millennial business camps where we talk about business etiquette, leadership styles and communication styles, all those great things. And then my third book just came out on Amazon about three weeks ago and that's "Boomers Into Business." That is under my other brand of the Colonial Guru. So there's my contact information should you want additional information. And at this point, I was told to stop at close to 10 'til so we have time for Q&A. It looks like I'm coming in right on time. And Randy, at this time, I'd like to hand it back over to you to go over any questions that might have come in. Thank you.
Lisa, that was wonderful. And you are totally right on time. Thanks so much for sharing all that information. I love having steps like that in a webinar, really action-oriented for our audience. At this time I would like to ask our meeting managers to give a announcement over the phone to start our Q&A session.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register for a question, please press the "1" followed by the "4" on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. Your line will then be accessed from the conference to obtain information. If your question has been answered and would like to withdraw your registration, please press the "1" followed by the "3." If you're using a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request. One moment please for the first question.
And while we wait for that, we did get many questions that were typed in. I think this generation likes to text. So why don't we start with those, Lisa? The first is we have a couple who just want you to review again the generations. If you can just outline again what do you consider are the Millennials? What are those years, and some of the other generations.
Sure. That's no problem at all. For the Boomers, we're looking at roughly 1942 to 1953. Generation Jones is roughly 1954 to 1965. Gen X is roughly 1966 to 1979, and Millennials — also known as Gen Y — is between 1980 to around 2002. And if that person needed that information again, they certainly could email me and I'll be more than happy to send them that.
That's good. I think some people just wanted some clarity on that. We have a question here that came in that says, "Do you have any suggestion on how to overcome the entitlement mentality Millennials tend to have?"
Yeah, that's one I get a lot. A lot of times with the entitlement is a lot about just explaining why they have to work in their particular position for as long — this is more about advancement, but in terms of, it depends on whether it's entitlement like being entitled to get a raise or get promoted, versus entitlement in general. But if it's career-related in terms of moving up the ladder, a lot of times it can help by simply sitting down and having a heart-to-heart discussion with them. I have known many Millennials to whom I've said, "Look, you guys know you can't get promoted to a director level, or manager level, or senior VP level overnight. It's just not going to happen. You guys get that, right?" And most of them are like, "Yeah, we know." And I say, "Well, you know, why do you cause your managers grief with this kind of stuff when you know that?" And they say, "Well, it's worth asking. It's at least worth asking." And seriously — and sometimes they'll just be doing it just to ask and to see if it's possible. And at that point, being able to sit down with them and have an open discussion and say, "This is the typical timeline to get from this position to this position. These are the skill sets that are required for you to be able to do it, so when you do get there, you do a good job and you don't fail and therefore get fired," and taking them through those explanation points. What I find is that a lot of managers don't take the time to do that. They just don't take the time. There is a lack of communication. Sometimes it's out of laziness, and sometimes it's out of resentment. They don't want to. They're like, "Deal with it. I had to deal with it. You deal with it." That sort of management style does not play well with the Millennials.
We have another one that was asked about, "How do the steps you've outlined for Millennials affect other generations in the workforce? For example, how would Gen Xers respond to a praise culture in a company?"
As I mentioned when we talked about the praise culture side of this, these corporations that implement these types of things — I just gave The Scooter Store as one example. Tons of companies are implementing reward and recognition programs that are fun and creative. They're finding it increases the retention overall of all the generations, because everybody wants to feel valued and respected. It's like I mentioned, the number one reason anybody of any age, so any generation and of any level — entry level ranging up to the C suite, any level — the number one reason people leave a job is not feeling valued and respected. So if a company or a department can implement more interesting, fun ways to provide more rewards and recognition for people who deserve it, it helps with the retention a lot. Again, I wasn't saying just do it for the Millennials, that would be illegal. It's for everybody. It's just that the Millennials tend to require it a little bit more than other generations, so smart companies are implementing it because of the Millennials, but it's helping across the board.
Chris, can I ask if there's any questions over the phone?
There are no questions on the lines at this time. However, ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, to register for a question please press the "1" followed by the "4." Thank you.
It goes with the people like to text because I have plenty that have come over the exchange here. Okay, so the next question that I applied to this, "With the poor economy and job market, are Millennials still likely to leave based on the factors you mentioned, like not being challenge or not rewarded?"
At this particular time, no. What's happening is you're finding that most all of the generations are staying put. There's some new research that just came out earlier this year, that actually shows that Gen X has a higher probability of jumping shift than Millennials do. A lot of Millennials kind of got a bad rap with that. In terms of what you're asking, I think the economy is keeping people in place right now because their job options are lesser than they were when economy was good. But as I mentioned at the very, very beginning of this presentation when we talked about why this topic was important, we do have a very serious talent pool shortage in the United States, 30-40 million people is huge, and the key with that being skilled and educated, so it's the type of people corporations are going to be wanting to hire. So the prediction — and I've been on panels and asked to speak as a thought leader at major future of the workforce events and all that kind of stuff and have a lot of agreement with that the recruitment side of things is going to heat up huge in the next couple of years and the war for talent is going to be unbelievable.
I started talking about this stuff a couple years ago, probably about four years ago when I started doing presentations. When the economy was still rolling, I had companies telling me they were giving signing bonuses to Millennials out of really low-level business schools and stuff — not like from Harvard, Yale and Stanford and stuff like that, schools you never even heard of — because they were short on talent. They were giving $20,000, $15,000 signing bonuses for accepting their job packet, their job offer. Of course, that faded off a little bit. But when the economy was good, a lot of them were being recruited like MBA draft picks. So now that this whole population trend has occurred along with a dive in enough skilled and educated workers, these tactics are going to be on the increase again a lot. So companies, even though they've got people sticking around, know full well — they're not stupid — that they've got a sizable amount of their workforce that just might be waiting for the economy to get better and are going to jump ship the minute it does, and they can't afford for that to happen. So even in this economy, they're doing everything they can to come up with rewards and recognition, retention tips, motivation strategies, all those things to retain their talent.
We have a question that says, "For a generation that grew up playing on teams where the idea of everyone wins prevail, we're having tough time finding the competitive spirit that a sales organization must have. Do you have suggestions on what we should be looking for instead?"
A lot of times with that is you're wanting to be looking in to what's motivating the individual. Even though the Millennials like to work in groups and like to work in teams more so than other generations before them, it's bringing in what's motivating each of them individually and what is the competitive spirit that works within that group, and asking them. That's the biggest mistake that companies make. They're like, 'We don't know what to do. We don't know what they want." And I say, "Well, have you asked them?" "Well, no." Okay, there's suggestion number one. It's sit down with them and go, "What could spark your interest in this? What could put a fire under your rear end to really get competitive with this? What is a goal – an end goal – that would work for you guys as individuals or as individual team?" I've had some sales groups where they've had 200 sales people, and to increase the competitiveness, is breaks them up into groups but try to make them multi-generational groups so it's not just a whole group of Millennials here, whole group of Millennials here – that type of thing – but mix it up. Again, it's sitting down and asking them. A lot of people just sit around and try to feel what people want without ever asking them what they want. Have the Millennials do the work for you.
I think we have time for just one more question. I'm actually going to take one that was typed in because I thought it was a really good one. It says, With job descriptions becoming an art, how do you capture the type of information for those generations to feel that a company wants them, and offers those things that they will be looking for? What would you suggest? Should we tweet or blog that information?
In terms of – the connection broke a little bit, Randy, I'm sorry – but in terms of putting up a job description for the jobs opportunities that an employer has and how to better entice Millennials for them?
Yeah, correct. So when you do a job description, how do you make sure that you write the job description in such a way that Millennials will know that they're wanted by the company?
I think coming right out and saying– when you start saying things, especially with entry level, typically it is going to be geared for Millennials just out of the age demographic of an entry level position. But bringing in words like– looking at the buzz words they're looking for – flexible environment, fun environment, community oriented environment – all those types of buzz words that they're looking for that entices to them. Exciting, you'll be challenged, we're a philanthropic company. Millennials like to work and are attracted to companies that are philanthropic in doing things with their profits other than just paying everybody at the higher level, bigger bucks. So a lot of those types of things you can bring into those job descriptions. I have a whole section– there's a whole section in my book on Millennials – I'm not plugging the book, it's been out for a couple of years – but Millennials Incorporated, there's a whole section and a whole chapter on recruiting and attracting Millennials, where not only do I talk about the things that they want to hear from an employer, and that their employer needs to back up. You can't be out there making promises, and then not following through.