How to build a loyal millennial team

Hiring isn’t hard — or is it?

To be honest, many recruiters are still caught up in the numbers game.

We need this to stop. It benefits everyone in the mix.

Let me explain:

  • Well paid, happy employees means happier bottom line
  • Well paid, happy employees means loyal work force (high retention)
  • Well paid, happy employees means there’s opportunity for growth

So what do you mean by “well paid, happy employees”?

A: Great question, glad you asked.

  • well paid ~ combination between actual pay, potential pay, available growth opportunities, basic needs met (can they meet their own and are you listening to them as they change), given enough feedback (this ranges from person to person — being aware of this is also a strength)
  • happy ~ vibrational energy in the office, strength of relationships amongst the entire team (not just in clicks), ability to be oneself, willing to be a brand ambassador without asking (this is harder than you think to achieve), doing work they enjoy that fits with their strengths (sometimes you have to realign someone in your company as you may become more familiar with their strengths than they are)

Individuals Vs. Numbers

Happier bottom line

If we think that by constantly rotating our employees to avoid certain taxes is benefiting our company's bottom line, then I question whether or not that company even cares about the relationships they have with their customers. Of course in certain industries — there needs to be a level of churn but even in those instances we can tone down the churn by focusing on the growth of each individual.

Let’s share a hypothetical story:

If I was a customer buying a product let’s say solar, I am sketched out by every single door knocker and company that calls me every afternoon at 5 pm asking if i’m “ready for solar”. I stumble upon your company and your rep — let’s say his name is Joe. Joe is the man! Before he even begins to say he’s selling solar, he starts talking to me about my beautiful patio — because let’s be honest…it’s rad. So Joe, whom has never met me before or solicited me, gets through to me and I set up an appointment with him. Then Joe and I have a bit of phone tag for the next week. Joe starts feeling overwhelmed by his home life — he’s a recent dad that hasn’t had much time to spend with his daughter. Due to his overwhelming feelings, Joe drops the ball on a callback to secure a meeting with me. Sam, Joe’s friend at work, is looking at the results of the day and sees a lead that wasn’t closed or marked for the day. He see’s it’s Joe so he texts him a quick, “Hey buddy, how’s it going? Saw you didn’t lock it down with Sally. Everything okay with you?” Joe instantly lights up and texts back, “Hey Sam! Thanks man. I’m just feeling a bit overbooked and I feel like i’m missing out on my daughter’s life. Do you have any tips for me? I appreciate you looking out. I could definitely use a friend at work right now.” Sam texts back, “Joe, I am sorry to hear this. Thank you for being real with me man. I understand, can I tag team this lead with you? Let’s get this back on track. I closed 2 today and i’d love to get you one on the books!”

Joe went on to close 10 deals that week with Sam’s help. Joe is now moving into a director role at corporate.

Sam closed his record week at 27 including his tag team lead with Joe. Sam was just recently promoted to VP of Sales.

The little things matter and the individual relationships between every single individual takes the precedent to your potential future as a company.

Loyal work force

Being loyal to a company sounds like a terrible idea. Let’s break it down. Being loyal to a company does not mean that you should set yourself up for disaster. By this I mean, do not expect to stay at your current position or current company forever. You must have options/skills/funds to fall back on when life takes a turn. We often hear about millennials being “job hoppers” and “far from loyal”. Well, I have to agree and disagree. Yeah we are job hoppers — kinda — well, what can you expect when you are in your 20’s now and have went through — almost now two recessions. We began our work careers around 2005–2006 which is in perspective not that far from 2008 — yeah you know about 2008. Think about it, when were you ever loyal to your first company? Mmm yeah didn’t think so. I certainly do not want to work at Wienerschnitzel my entire life — but maybe some do.

Let’s share a hypothetical timeline:

  • 2006: hired for first job
  • 2007: fired from first job
  • 2007 (minutes later): hired for new job (2)
  • 2009: 2nd job acquired (3)
  • 2010: left both jobs
  • 2010: moved to new state for college
  • 2010: hired for new job (4)
  • 2011: left job #4
  • 2011: hired for new job (5)
  • 2011: left job #5
  • 2011: hired for new job (6)
  • 2012: hired for 2nd job (7)
  • 2012: left job #6 (seasonal)
  • 2012: left job #7 (budget cut)
  • 2012: hired for new job (8)
  • 2012: hired for 2nd job (9)
  • 2013: left job #9
  • 2013: hired for new 2nd job (10)
  • 2013: got 2nd position at job #10 (dual roles)
  • 2013: left job #8
  • 2014: promoted at #10
  • 2014: promoted again at #10
  • 2015: promoted again at #10
  • 2015: left job #10 (layoff/budget cut)
  • 2016: working with their own clients now

Over the course of 10 years, this person has had ten different jobs. In a recruiters or hiring manager's mind, that means this person hypothetically had one new job every single year. Is this a fair option to evaluate how loyal someone is? Hell no. Does this still happen today? You bet! While not every recruiter is alike, it’s unfortunately still way too common. If you look at the layout of the positions over time, you can see the company that valued this person immensely was the company that showed appreciation for the individual. How could you assume this from the timeline? Easy, look at the time between promotions, the dual roles — it’s hard to dismiss the fact that it was a match made in heaven from 2013–2015.

This person is me.

I still love this company today and I continue to be loyal to them beyond contractual value.

Us millennials can be loyal but are you willing to be loyal to us?

Opportunity for growth

While know we can’t work with you forever, we want to make sure our work is valuable to not only the company and our bosses but to our journey in life. We do not need artificial titles like “Growth Ninja” and “Customer Queen” but rather titles that reflect the work we are currently doing. If the work we are doing has changed, we should expect to evolve with the company which means our titles should inevitably change over time. Maybe we are in sales but our true passion is in marketing and we’ve finally gotten the confidence to admit our interest? Maybe we are knocking doors and closing deals but find more joy in operations and solving customers problems? We never truly know where we will go when we are given the freedom to mold ourselves into something the company needs.

Let’s share a hypothetical story:

Sally is knocking doors and is KILLING it out in the field. She has been having fun mentoring her peers as well. She finds herself constantly texting her coworkers tips and helping them overcome objections. One day, her boss comes over to her and asks if she’d like to run the training for today. Sally dances in excitement and tells her boss, “Absolutely! I have so many ideas”. Everyone vibes to Sally during the training and thank her for being the guidance they needed when times got rough. The VP of Sales surprised the team with his presence that day and pulled Sally aside. “Sally”, VP of Sales said, “I am so proud of you. Are you looking for a full-time position?” Sally replies, “Thank you! You don’t know how much it means to me. I am not ready yet because I have a few classes to finish but after I am ready!” VP of Sales replies, “Great because we need people like you.”

Sally graduated from college and got promoted into a full-time management position. She eventually moved closer to their corporate headquarters to work with one of their partners. Sally was promoted again and now works at headquarters.

You never know what one conversation and feeling can do for your team. They are your family. We are all working together to support each other. If you pay attention and act at the right moments, you can earn our trust for life.

Takeaways

  1. Be open-minded about the bottom line and how every action affects it.
  2. Listen to your team. Data speaks too — are you paying attention?
  3. The definition of loyalty has changed so you must change your mindset to match it.
  4. Millennials are loyal if you are loyal to them first. We have trust issues and we have reasons.
  5. Transparency is the norm — get with the program. Own it.
  6. Constant effective feedback is a must in this day of age.
  7. Leaders of companies are expected to build relationships with everyone.
  8. Making friends at work is healthy and should be encouraged. We all need confidants.
  9. Artificial titles do nothing for anyone. (EX: Growth Ninja)
  10. People are not numbers they are individuals and could be the future of your organization.

Please share this with one friend you think could benefit from this. :)