Human Resources News & Insights

The key to keep younger workers from jumping ship

What can companies do to get their young workers to stick around longer? Give them more feedback. A new study highlights just how much feedback you should be giving these workers.

As Millennial workers (those born after the 80s) continue to come into the workforce, employers will have to think of ways to tailor their operations to keep these young employees engaged and productive.

However, many companies struggle to accomplish this, as Millennial workers generally have different expectations of their employers than previous generations.

To help companies hold onto their Millennial workers longer, a team of researchers at SuccessFactors, an HR software developer, recently surveyed over 1,000 Millennials to find out what they want from their employers.

Missing manager feedback

Writing about the research in an article for the Harvard business Review, Karie Willyerd, a leader at SuccessFactors, notes one of the biggest findings from the study was that many young workers said they don’t receive enough feedback from managers.

According to the research, almost all Millennials wanted more feedback to help them improve their skills than the basic feedback they received during an annual review.

Nearly 60% of all respondents said they would like monthly meetings with supervisors to get feedback. A slightly smaller percentage said they wanted quarterly reviews. Some Millenials even said they wanted weekly sit-downs with managers.

But only a very small percentage of respondents said receiving feedback annually was enough for them.

And only 46% of Millenials said their managers met their feedback expectations.

More than annual reviews

Depending on your company’s operations and your managers’ workloads, monthly or weekly meetings could be tough to manage.

However, the research does send a clear message to employers about retaining Millennial workers: If your company only uses annual reviews to give feedback and help workers develop, you may not be giving Millennials enough info to make them want to improve or stick around.

Millennials want their managers to act as a development coach so they can see exactly how they can improve in their positions and advance through your company, according to researchers.

Research has shown young workers are also more likely to stay with a company when they understand how their work contributes to an organization’s goals. By having more regular feedback sessions, managers can help Millennials connect the dots and see how their projects and performance affect the company’s well-being.

It also could be worthwhile to regularly survey your workforce, especially young employees, to determine if there are other expectations your organization may not be addressing.

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  • HR Guru

    I truly don’t think Millennials are any different from any other employees of the past. We should have been giving feedback on a regular basis all along. This group is just willing to speak up. When I was young, you just didn’t speak up about wanting feedback. This is good practice no matter who you are dealing with.