How to Retain Your Millennial Employees

Two weeks ago we hosted our first Learnitect Breakfast Roundtable Series and welcomed COOs and Heads of People from leading fast growing tech companies Benivo, Deliveroo, Salesforce, Mastered, Freshminds, Yoyo Wallet, Pockit, Circle and Cisco.

This is part 2 of a three-part series sharing the best practices for attracting and engaging Millennials captured at the event. Find Part 1 and Part 3 here.

Employee retention is the most challenging part of the employee lifecycle. Average tenure at start-ups tend to be short and even established corporates have trouble retaining their Millennial talent.

Adobe is one of the many companies doing away with formal performance reviews, replacing the process with regular feedback. However, the practicality of doing away with formal documentation on ratings and rankings may not be right for every organization.

Easier wins include providing social budgets for specifically designed groupings (e.g., cohorts starting at the same time, teams that rarely work together, mentor-mentee budgets) or totally randomizing it (e.g., regular “Mystery Lunches” with randomly picked participants). Other great ideas include allowing employees to spend time on business improvement projects and allowing each employee a small budget to pursue their interests (with the requirement of sharing what they have learned).

Here are some more practical best practices for retention:

  • All employees should be clear about their career paths. Confusion over career path is one of the most common frustrations of start-up employees. Millennial are hungry for continuous professional development.

  • Maintaining transparent communication may be challenging as not all messages are suitable to be shared. Focus on keeping everyone informed of the company vision.

  • Feature an employee in your staff newsletter/all-hands. Keep it light hearted and fun so people can learn about each other.

  • Create simple processes/tools (e.g., forms, apps) for employees to document important conversations (e.g., feedback and goal-setting). This creates accountability. You may want to consider opening the goals to everyone to create ultimate transparency.

  • Create expectations that feedback could be both positive AND constructive. Have managers set examples of soliciting constructive feedback. Share stories of how constructive feedback help people grow.

  • Consider reviewing performance based on desired behaviours which are aligned to the company values. Displaying true ownership of work and mastering stakeholder relationships are two key skills to have in any ambitious organization.

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