Recruiting and Retaining Millennial Workers

As of 2015, Millennials comprised the largest generation of workers participating in Canada’s workforce. This is for good reason; among other benefits, Millennials are highly adaptable, are eager to learn, and are interested in professional growth. They are technologically advanced when compared to older generations, which can have a significant impact on your team, from their ability to solve problems to giving your marketing efforts a boost through extended social media reach. Ultimately, Millennials enjoy taking responsibility and want to lead in the workplace, making them highly valuable to many businesses across Canada.

Throughout this article, I have highlighted 5 methods you can use to attract and retain Millennials to work within your organization. I’ll also provide some tools and tips on how to receive Canadian government grants and loans that reduce the financial demand of hiring new workers.

Related Blog: Why Hiring a Recent Graduate Makes Sense for Many Canadian Businesses

1. Personalize Millennials’ Work Experience for Better Engagement

Millennials are not looking to be “another cog in the wheel” of a faceless, cultureless organization. They’re looking for worthwhile strategic opportunities where they feel confident investing their time and talents.

They want to feel like they can make a difference and have personalized relationships with their managers. Providing these employees with personalized information and tasks, then seeking a deeper connection with them will ensure that they attach more meaning to their work and ultimately enjoy it more.

Try This: During the interviewing process, highlighting this personalized environment can better allow your company the ability to attract Millennial talent.

2. Increase Employee Participation to Drive Their ‘Buy-In’

Inclusion and participation are extremely important to Millennials. To ensure they remain dedicated to your organization, share the bigger picture of your company’s goals. Let them have a vested interest in your organization and ensure that they understand how their performance contributes to the business’ goals and success.

Try This: ‘Credos’ are often defined as a formalized statement of beliefs or understandings. A great way to increase the buy-in of your team is to allow them to work together in creating a credo that defines what it means to be an employee at your organization. This is a powerful activity to perform that will help Millennials embrace the business and see it as their own.

3. Reduce or Simplify Your Business’ Management Structure

According to the 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce Study, 83% of Millennials highlighted that they prefer a more horizontal organizational structure with as few layers of management. A complicated management structure can fragment a Millennials’ work and attention.

Try This: While it may be difficult, if not impossible to change the management structure of your company, communicating a new hire’s responsibilities and who to report to can mitigate this potential issue.

Related Blog: How the Rise of Millennials Affects Entrepreneurship and the Economy

4. Facilitate Greater Collaboration

Being able to work with other employees is extremely important to Millennials. Providing space and resources to collaborate with colleagues can promote greater job satisfaction for your new Millennial hires. Ensuring that potential candidates know that you welcome and foster a collaborative work environment can also allow you to better recruit new staff.

Try This: There are a wealth of online tools that will help your organization become more collaborative and productive. Two tools that the Mentor Works team uses to enhance collaboration are Google Docs and Slack.

5. Be Open to Providing and Receiving Feedback

Providing Feedback to Your Millennial Employees

To maintain Millennial employee engagement, structured assignments should be matched with frequent and personalized feedback. Millennials often seek opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute in meaningful ways. By providing them insightful feedback, they will be able to understand their current performance and identify ways to improve.

Try This: Holding recurring meetings with your direct reports will help to ease tension associated with receiving feedback. During these meetings, become interested in the progress of your Millennial employee and the project they’ve been working on. See room for improvement? Providing constructive criticism will help the employee to better understand their role and how to excel in it.

Receiving Feedback from Your Millennial Employees

Millennials want to be comfortable when providing feedback about the company. Often times, Millennials bring a fresh perspective that can break through creative or technical issues that are impacting the business’ success. By encouraging this employee feedback and responding to the issues accordingly, management will discover how to make their business more innovative and successful.

Try This: Holding ‘pizza party’ lunches to facilitate discussion or offering incentives for employee feedback will help encourage a culture of continuous improvement.

Receive Canadian Government Funding to Offset a Millennial Worker’s Wages

Organizations have a tremendous opportunity to access recent graduates from post-secondary institutions during the spring and summer months. A variety of hiring grants will offset up to 50% of a recent graduate’s wages for up to a year of employment. With this Canadian government funding, businesses will be able to recruit and train young employees with less financial impact during the onboarding process.

Additionally, government grants and incentives can be used to help train your workforce regardless of their age. Using government funding for training, such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), businesses can access up to 66% of training costs to upgrade the skillset of their employees. Especially when hiring Millennials, this can accelerate their development drastically.

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Steph graduated in 2010 with an undergraduate degree in International Development and Globalization and is in the process of completing her Masters in Local Economic Development at the University of Waterloo. Steph is passionate about economic development and is excited about working with small businesses to ensure their success in accessing government funding.

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