Retaining young talent


Shannon Davies

Commercial Lawyer

This morning, Shannon Davies (BNI Bamboo’s resident commercial lawyer) took his turn at presenting our weekly education piece, and spoke about some of the unique challenges associated with retaining young talent – particularly the so-called “millennials”.
It is now a common dilemma for employers and managers: substantial time and resources are invested in training, but it seems almost inevitable that the millennial employee will leave after a couple of years.
This compulsion to move on and change roles appears very much a part of the millennial mindset. Tellingly, in Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2017, almost half of the respondents indicated that they planned to leave their jobs either “soon” or within two years.
So what should employers and managers do to retain young talent long enough to see a real return on their investment? Here are five suggestions.

  1. Identify your purpose – your “why” – and get your employees to buy into it. The Deloitte survey identified a real connection between having a genuine sense of purpose and retention. Employees who feel their jobs have meaning exhibit greater levels of loyalty.
  2. Give your employees opportunities to engage with good causes. 76% of millennials regard business as a force for positive social change, and almost 90% believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just financial performance. It doesn’t matter what cause your business or your employees choose to support – employees who are given opportunities to contribute to charities and good causes show a greater level of loyalty and have a more positive opinion of their employer’s business.
  3. Empower and develop trust with your employees. Deloitte’s research shows that millennials appreciate working in a collaborative environment, and have low satisfaction with a controlling, rules-based approach to management.
  4. Investigate whether flexible working arrangements can work for your business. The availability of such arrangements is linked to improved productivity and loyalty among millennials.
  5. Finally, stay abreast of technology. Tech-savvy millennials recognise and value the potential for workplace automation to support their creativity and enhance their skills, and being at the front of technology will also positively affect how your business is perceived by young talent.
Niek van Santen