How to Retain Your Millennial Employees

BY Kathy Crosett
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Anyone who’s been in the workforce for a while knows about the annual performance appraisal. As a leader, you might find it efficient and useful to summarize team members' activity once a year. In the big meeting, you might set some goals for employees. And, you might give them a raise. The problem with this process is that employees, especially team members who belong to the millennial generation, want nothing to do with an annual appraisal. They need much more from you.

The latest survey from Clutch shows that 19% of millennials find their current work unfulfilling. Another 21% have a neutral feeling about their current position. This state of affairs will lead over 30% of millennials to search for new jobs within the next 6 months. You made a significant investment bringing these employees on board and in training them. To keep them interested in their jobs and in your company, you need to take action now.

Researchers believe a number of factors may be contributing to millennial unhappiness. For one thing, these employees may not feel engaged at work. The commonly sought after perks like flex time and working offsite may reduce younger employees’ abilities to make connections with others in the organization. You can try to correct this problem by touching base more frequently through office communication systems like Slack.

A bigger issue for millennials is the lack of feedback on how they are doing. Millennials are more likely than other employees, 72% versus 68%, to say their work is fulfilling when they receive consistent and accurate feedback from managers. The Clutch survey findings reveal that only 23% of millennials believe they’re receiving this type of feedback.

Peter Cappelli, Director of the Wharton Center for Human Resources, and researcher, points out that many large corporations are still mired in the process of the annual performance review. Based on his 10-​year study of performance reviews, Cappelli suggests that companies move to a feedback system, one that is ongoing. While it may be time consuming for managers, young professionals feel more invested in a company when they understand the corporate mission and goals. They also need to see how they fit into the system.

If you want to keep your young star performers on the payroll, it’s time to institute changes to your appraisal and feedback process.