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Want to Keep Millennial Talent? Don’t Be Afraid To Let Them Go.

Source | LinkedIn : By Right Management India

Millennials expect to work longer and harder than previous generations, and organizations need to rethink their talent management strategies to attract and retain this growing workforce cohort.

By 2020, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1996) will make up over a third of the global workforce. Some recent articles suggest Millennials are disloyal, lazy, and self-absorbed employees, while others claim they are innovators and a generation of digital entrepreneurs. As the mother of two Millennials, I would challenge both these extreme descriptions. One of my children has graduated, completed an industrial placement in her third year, and secured a role in the organization that, from an early age, she dreamed would give her the best start to her chosen career. The other is in his third year at university and currently completing a work placement before returning for a final year of university

Entering the world of work during a global recession is not easy, with record youth unemployment, fast-changing business cycles, and an increasing demand for new skills. Despite this, our children and many of their friends remain upbeat about their careers and optimistic about their job prospects. They have a positive attitude about a successful career in the future, and they consider it their responsibility –not the organization’s—to drive their own career.

Knowing these young people will need to work longer than any other generation before, it’s difficult at times to see how they remain so positive.

I wouldn’t agree with those who say Millennials are lazy. I know of very few who haven’t had work experience. Doing an internship—often unpaid during vacation—is often the norm in order to show work experience on their CV when they graduate. They certainly are not work-shy; many are putting in longer hours than previous generations, over 50 hours a week for some.

Since Millennials expect to work longer and harder than previous generations, organizations need to consider specific workplace dynamics when hiring and managing Millennials.

Millennials want more variety and expect to have time for career breaks, longer holidays and sabbaticals. In a ManpowerGroup global study of Millennial employment attitudes, 84 percent of participants anticipated having significant breaks in employment. Whilst this can be seen as an inconvenience at best and may not be possible for some roles in some organizations, management needs to weigh the advantages of granting Millennials the “me-time” they desire. It may be desirable to retain this talent and have a more rounded, motivated individual who spend three months travelling the world experiencing other cultures and challenges they wouldn’t get in the office.

It is widely published that Millennials, in general, express little loyalty to their current employers with many planning to leave if a better opportunity comes along. This mindset could become a serious challenge to any business. Our research shows, however, that Millennials are not the job-hoppers some would have you believe. They put career security ahead of job security, and understand the need for continuous skills development to remain employable. In fact, Millennials will tend to stay with an organization that aligns with their values, provides a culture of like-minded people, and supports their career growth.

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