Millennials (ages 24 to 40 in 2020) are now the largest generational workforce in the country. They make up 35% or 56 million of the employed. Gen Xers (ages 40 to 55 in 2020) were surpassed by Millennials in 2016. Compared to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers had a very short lived time as the dominant generation in the workforce – only three years.
Over the past 35 years, the amount of American workers who belong to a labor union have been cut in half. In 1954 union membership spiked at 35% of all American workers. Today, only 10% of the workforce is unionized.
The American marketplace is an ever changing landscape. Unions once empowered workers, provided guidance, protection and lit the way for countless career paths. Millennials consider unions to be an antiquated and broken system, a relic from the past. That very well may be true in today’s marketplace, but the drastic decline in union membership has driven many CEO’s and HR Executives to wonder if something modern has been developed to take it’s place? Is there a system that not only protects employees, but builds a symbiotic relationship between top management and the workforce where everyone wins?
The answer is yes – Mentorship Programs.
The competition for talent is only going to intensify. Contrary to past trends, many millennials prioritize personal growth and development over their paychecks. Millennials have shown a tendency to work for companies that help them excel as individuals as opposed to monetary compensation or other material benefits. Companies can’t simply “buy” talent anymore. Mentorship programs entice talented millennials because it offers a work environment where productivity, profits and personal growth are given due importance.
These are the 3 key reasons why millennials need mentoring and how it can make or break your business.
1 – Mentorship gives millennials the opportunity to find individual purpose, resulting in better work performance and retention of valuable talent.
The average millennial will quit a job after 28 months. Previous generations searched for job security and longevity, but millennials will up and leave without hesitation if things aren’t going the way they envisioned. Most young, talented professionals keep their options open, actively send out resumes and attend job interviews even if they have steady employment. In the last year, 21 percent of millennials left their current job for another opportunity. This is a three times higher than other age groups. That talented young computer whiz you just hired? He might have three pending resumes with your competition.
The lack of personal development opportunities is one of the main reasons a millennial will leave a company. Our mentorship program solves this.
Mentorship programs connect people within a company, providing millennials with a valuable sounding board. Mentors, intelligently assigned, helps millennials cultivate undeveloped skills. This not only improves their productivity but excites them about the prospect of a longer employment as they are constantly growing. Leaving would mean the growth from mentorship would cease and there is a big mutual incentive for both the employee and the company for the talent to stick around.
2 – Mentoring is the key to educating employees.
Formal training, instructors and on-line courses are a good way to bring a workforce up to date on regulations, but they miss the mark when it comes to personal engagement and growth. Sitting in front of a computer screen, reading an ebook or listening to a speaker (no matter how engaging) doesn’t develop inter-company relationships which span every level of management.
Studies show that millennials participating in traditional training programs only retain 10% of what they learn. Our mentorship program implements tools into the workplace that enables coaching and mentoring to take place concurrent to work. Mentorship is a far more effective way to educate and grow employees constantly as they go about their work because mentoring facilitates day-to-day practice.
As a result, millennials learn on the job in holistic environments provided by solid mentoring and the company reaps the benefits. It’s a situation where everyone wins.
3 – Mentoring creates cultured, happy and well-rounded employees.
An unhappy, depressed employee not only fails at work, but can bring everyone around him down. Totally aside from the social impact this might have, it hurts company productivity.
Any company would want their ranks filled with growing and happy employees not only to increase their bottom line, but also because most people want to go home at night knowing they are making a difference in the world, however small it may be.
Our mentorship program is proven to boost morale and happiness in the workforce. Mentorship builds relationships and a positive learning environment where people honestly just feel good. Most of us want to go to work excited to learn and produce. No one wants to slave away at a 9-5 just to pay the bills and be happy exclusively over the weekend with a gloomy Monday just around the corner.
With mentorship, employees work together to create an environment that looks out for everyone. Millennials constantly seek new experiences. Why not give those to them as they work? Mentorship creates connection between millennials and other generations of employees they would never naturally interact with exposing them to different skills, viewpoints, cultures, religions and ways of life.
One of the many results of successful mentorship is a happy workforce that also recognizes the source of their happiness – the company they work for.
If you have millennials in your employ and you don’t have a mentorship program, get one. And don’t just get any random program, get one that has been proven to work in all situations across various industries. If you approach this as something for “HR to handle” you won’t get the desired results and the millennials you hire won’t grow with your company. They will become bored, depressed, distracted and leave.
That talented professional you worked so hard to acquire and train? He learned how to spin genius marketing campaigns and leverage social media but while he was in your employee he was bored with no friendly relations so he quit 6 months later. If you had a mentorship program he would have had personal connections that helped him develop within the company and wouldn’t dream of leaving, instead he would work hard to help the company grow.
Mentorship can educate your workforce to be better. The human element of mentorship helps millennials feel less like cogs in a wheel and more like people.
When the millennials and talent within your workforce feels empowered, your company is empowered. Without this sense of alignment between the workforce and the company you won’t last long in today’s marketplace.
*All statistics in this article are credited to pewresearch.org