It’s no secret that millennials are struggling to make ends meet. They’ve experienced either the 2008 recession, COVID-19 crisis, or both. Housing prices are rising in nearly every city, and student loan debt is higher than ever, with a whopping 65% of graduates leaving college with debt. They’re making less money for the same number of hours as their grandparents — about 20% less, when adjusted for inflation — and are forced to spend the majority of their earnings on housing and student loans.
All this leaves millennials struggling to pay rent, get out of debt, and accrue significant savings. In fact, 60% of millennials said they didn’t even have enough to cover a $1,000 emergency if one arose.
It makes sense, then, that millennials are experiencing burnout at higher rates than ever before.
With burnout causing unsatisfied workers to look for other jobs, companies have job hopping as a real concern to look out for. Millennials tend to job hop more than other workers, too. According to a Gallup poll, only half of millennials plan to be in their same job after a year, and 21% of them say they’ve changed jobs within a year. And all this moving around negatively affects the companies as well. Studies show that 44% of Fortune 500s that deal with job hopping lose up to $58 million annually, and the U.S. economy overall loses over $30 billion a year.
Clearly, retaining and satisfying Gen Y is an issue for employers. They’re not just moving from job to job for fun! They’re experiencing unsatisfying pay, burnout, and unmanageable stress — there has to be a better way.
So, what should companies do to retain their millennial talent?
- Compensate properly
One of the biggest reasons millennials leave jobs is due to unsatisfying compensation. Millennials on average tend to earn 20% less than Baby Boomers, despite being overall more educated. And given that expenses are higher due to increasing rent and student loan demands, this is leaving many workers struggling to make ends meet at the same age that their grandparents would be settling down to buy houses.
Companies that are hiring millennials need to be conscious about offering fair pay to their employees. Keeping wages stagnant from thirty years ago just won’t cut it anymore. If companies don’t want to see massive, costly turnover, analyzing payment strategies is key.
- Be prepared to help them grow
Another major factor for millennial job turnover is few to no opportunities for growth within the job. 21% of job seekers said they would remain with a company if there were obvious opportunities for advancement in their job — Basically, millennials aren’t just job hopping because they’re bored and want the next best thing. They want to feel valued for their work, and be able to envision a future where they have more responsibility (and higher pay). No one wants to feel stuck in a job. If companies want to quell turnover, they should focus on helping their employees grow and learn, and keep opportunities for promotions and advancement available.
- Give them a valuable title
Let’s face it — Everyone wants to feel important in their role. And millennials especially are less likely to feel satisfied in a job where they have little perceived responsibility. A great way to make your employee feel valued? Give them a valuable title. Job titles may not seem all that important, but they reflect on the employee. Resumes matter much more today than they did twenty years ago, and millennial workers are acutely aware that if they don’t have a professional title attached to their work, they may not find future employment as easily as they could. And in a world overrun by social media, being able to discuss their valuable work title on LinkedIn or Intagram can make all the difference.
I once had a client who was uncertain about taking a job that met all of her goals, from salary to benefits to environment, because the title didn’t match with what she felt she was being asked to do. Yes, it’s that important — Companies need to keep in mind that if they want to retain their millennials, they should take a second look at job titles, and make sure they line up with the job at hand.
The main thing companies need to realize when it comes to problems with millennials in the workplace is that these workers aren’t asking for unreasonable demands. They just want to feel valued, appreciated, and paid fairly for their work. Taking a long look at how they’re treating their millennial employees, and making changes based on what these employees want most, will save money in the long run, and help them retain talented workers who will work hard, because they know they are valued.