Despite employers struggling to retain millennials, only 10 per cent have done anything to integrate them with co-workers from other generations, according to a new report by the Human Resources Professional Association.
The regulatory body, which surveyed more than 1,000 of its members, found 64 per cent of respondents said millennials tend to leave employers faster than other generations but admit they don’t adjust their practices to address the unique needs of that generational group. Only 14 per cent of respondents said they’ve provided specific guidelines and training for managers to work with millennials.
“It’s no surprise that companies are facing a ‘loyalty challenge’ when it comes to millennial workers,” said Bill Greenhalgh, chief executive officer at the Human Resources Professional Association. “There can be up to four different generations in today’s workplaces and if companies aren’t taking steps to mitigate the potential tensions that generational differences can make, they will face major problems.”
The survey also showed tensions are bound to arise from different generations working together in today’s workplace. More than half (54 per cent) of respondents experienced tensions between millennials and different age groups of workers due to a perceived difference in values or work habits.
The survey also asked employers whether they’ve changed their vacation or flexible work policies to improve millennial retention. It found nearly 80 per cent haven’t changed their policies, 20 per cent have modified their approach in some way and 13 per cent indicated they’ve changed their flexible work policies specifically for that age group. Many survey respondents, however, noted their organizations have adjusted policies related to various leaves and vacation days.
Another survey by Staples Business Advantage found millennials deal with burnout by seeking flexible schedules as opposed to other generations that opt for receiving lower workloads. It found burnout is also prevalent among millennials, with 41 per cent reporting it’s motivating them to look for a new job.
As well, unlike generation X and baby boomers who prefer a traditional workplace, the ability to work from home is crucial for millennials as that’s where they’re most inspired to work, the survey found.
Three-quarters (74 per cent) of millennials rate the availability of a wellness program as a selling point when looking for a new job, while 64 per cent of generation X and 51 per cent of baby boomers say he same.
According to the Human Resources Professionals Association survey, employers seem to be falling short in addressing the leadership training and development that millennials crave. More than 60 per cent of those surveyed said their companies don’t have a mentorship program while those that do offer programs report these are typically informal and open to all employees, rather than focused on integrating millennials.
However, of the 10 per cent of employers that have taken steps to integrate millennial employees, almost 95 per cent have offered reverse mentoring and generational training for managers, according to the survey.
“By offering flexible work options, ensuring technology is part of your workplace, offering reverse mentoring programs, and even providing generational training, companies can help improve inter-generational issues, their retention of millennials, and their overall competitiveness,” said Greenhalgh.
“Millennials are the future of the Canadian economy, and it is critical for organizations to understand how to attract, retain and integrate them.”