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3 ways to lose your Millennial A-players

18th Aug 2015
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Millennials are no longer the new kids on the block. They started entering work 19 years ago, and are now the largest generation in today's workforce.

Before long, they’ll not just be the largest generation of those in work… they’ll be the largest generation of managers, then leaders, then CXOs.

Unfortunately, some organisations are finding it difficult to attract, nurture and retain the best of these Millennials.

Over time, this will mean that they lose their top talent and are left with whoever remains. Undoubtedly this will put them at a competitive disadvantage.

So, here are three common ways organizations are turning off their best Millennials and practically pushing them out the door (and how to avoid them):

1. Putting limits on technology and tools

Millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet.

They had access to the internet at school, and probably in their home too. To them, pretty much anything they need to know is google-able, but with so much information available, they increasingly rely on social networks to identify what really matters. Their education and entertainment is intertwined through consuming videos on YouTube, reading blogs, and attending virtual events. When socializing, there are no boundaries of geography or time.

As a result, your top Millennial talent will expect unlimited internet access so that they can be the best they can be. They expect to be able to use video sites and social media to research and find the answers they need. They expect to be able to use (and install) their preferred tools, and be trusted to achieve the objectives they are set.

They don’t want to hear poor reasons why their job is made more difficult through site blockers or usage policies. They don’t want to be expected to work in a bubble or even within the confines of a small team. They don’t want to be forced to consume learning materials that are lower quality or less entertaining that other freely available resources on the internet.

2. Making them feel like they're treading water

Many articles suggest that Millennials are more ambitious than other generations.

Regardless of whether this is really accurate for the generation as a whole, one thing is for sure: your A-player Millennials are rightly ambitious.

If you communicate to them that success in their role means a promotion, they'll aim for that. When you tell them there isn't a manager role available yet, or that they have to wait until the next round of promotions, they'll feel like they aren't progressing.

Your top dogs will soon find their way out of a small yard.

Instead, provide them with a career development path based on experiences and skills so that there are no barriers or boundaries to what they can achieve. 

3. Leaving them to 'get on with it'

You might imagine that your A-players will appreciate being given space to complete tasks their own way, be a self-starter, and manage their own development. Giving them some space is important (they won't want to be micro managed), however, too much space feels like neglect.

Your Millennial A-players will want to feel like they are contributing, doing a good job, and that their own development is being supported.

To provide this, speak to A-players first (rather than your 'problem-employees') to ensure they are getting the recognition, feedback and support they need. Once done, they'll be motivated to go and achieve great things, leaving you to sort out those people that have issues.

If you’d like to learn more about how to support the development of Millennials and keep your top Millennial talent, register for this free webinar on the 20th August at 16:00 BST, co-hosted by Jo Dodds and Alexis Kingsbury. (Don’t worry if you can’t attend, you can register anyway to be sent the recording afterwards.)

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