Retaining Your Youngest Talent

Bright and capable young people have many choices when it comes to where they can invest their time and energy. If you are able to recruit one of these high potential millennials then you also need to be concerned about retaining them. Currently, they have the shortest tenure of any generation still working (about 18 months) because managers do not know what they value most or how to motivate them. So what can you do?

There are three things that really matter to younger employees: Continuous learning and skill development, meaningful and challenging work and access to leaders who will listen, mentor and provide feedback on their progress and performance. Here are some quick ideas for how you can keep their interest and commitment:

  1. Make learning new and different skills a job requirement and include it in their annual performance goals.
  2. Pair them with a senior leader to act as mentor, role model and a source of feedback.
  3. Invite them to a quarterly “lunch and learn” meeting with the CEO.
  4. Add them to a cross-functional team looking to leverage company resources for the purpose of process improvement, cost reduction or better customer service.
  5. Invite them to join a sales rep on a client call to get a better understanding of what clients want and need.