Employee Engagement, Opportunity for Growth Help Businesses Retain Millennials

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Millennials are a crucial and growing part of the workforce, and engaging them is the key to their long-term success, which benefits employees and employers alike. Millennials currently make up about 38 percent of the U.S. workforce, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that will grow to 50 percent in the next five years, which means employers can’t afford not to attract and retain 19 to 36 year olds.

Nate Dvorak, a consultant at Gallup, shared his thoughts and research based on feedback from 25 million employees over the past five years during The NATSO Show 2016 to give truckstop and travel plaza operators insight into this significant employee base.

“Millennials more than any other generation are asking their employers to get to know them right away and manage them towards their strengths,” Dvorak said.

"One of the best ways to retain millennials is to give them the opportunity to learn and grow. “They want challenges. They want to be invested and valued as contributors and want to see a career path,” Dvorak said, adding that 53 percent of millennial workers report that professional or career growth and development opportunities are extremely important compared to just 28 percent of non millennials.

Top drivers of retention for millennials includes the opportunity to do what they do best each day and being a part of a company where the mission and purpose of the organization makes their job feel important.

However, millennials are more likely than other generations to seek out new opportunities if they aren’t engaged. “Six in 10 millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity. That is significantly higher than the 45 percent of non-millennial workers,” Dvorak said.

Dvorak told attendees 36 percent of millennially say they would leave their job in the next 12 months if another opportunity arose. However, their openness to new job opportunities reduces by 30 percent if they re fully engaged workers.

The good news for employers is that many of the things that matter to millennials, such as employee engagement, apply to all workers no matter what age they are. Highly engaged employees have 37 percent lower absenteeism, 25 percent lower turnover, 60 percent fewer quality defects, 12 percent higher customer metric and 18 percent over the least engaged employees, Dvorak said.

Photo Credit: Chuck Fazio/NATSO

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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