Retaining and understanding millennials before it's too late

“Millennials are not afraid of changing jobs and in many instances careers. They will easily only spend a two year tenure at a company and move on. They have extremely high expectations of their role and the company they join, they want to learn and develop, nurture a good work-life balance which allows for flexibility around where and when they work, strengthen their talents and ultimate their job should fit their life.

“Since they are self-assured, they have a higher need for feedback and recognition as well as engagement with management to be part of a more collaborative engagement and having a voice in setting performance expectations and negotiating a fair salary for the work they do.”

Chantelle says her research conducted amongst Millennials who have received coaching within their organisations indicate that coaching can have a major impact on bridging the expectations gap arising from generational differences.

“Generational differences can result in a misalignment in the expectations between organisations and young Millennial professionals. These expectations are embodied in the concept of a psychological contract which is an individual’s beliefs concerning reciprocal obligations in the employment relationship. The fulfillment of this contract and its suggested business benefits are more likely to materialise if the parties agree about their obligations towards each other and create and maintain mutuality (shared agreement) between the parties. Coaching can play a pivotal role in this transition phase.”

She says coaching enables Millennials to have an enhanced awareness of who they are and develop an improved authentic self-confidence. This allows them to articulate their development needs and direction more clearly and become aware that it is their responsibility to raise their psychological contract beliefs with the organisation, even more so where they perceive a difference in the understanding of their obligations and those of the organisation.

“The inner benefits of enhanced awareness and improved confidence prepares the coachee cognitively to produce the outer personal benefits, which are visible to others in changed behaviours and enhanced skills. Improved confidence enables them to speak up more credibly about their strengths and contributions, and hold conversations that contribute towards clarifying the organisation’s expectations of them, and what they expect in return.

“They are confident to take action concerning their own development – a valuable skill since organisations now expect employees to manage their own careers. Coaching assists coachees in their ability to handle tough conversations, imparting the skills and motivation to have candid and respectful conversations with their managers.”

Chantelle says that coaching appears to be particularly useful in aligning expectations regarding career development. Receiving coaching speaks directly to Millennials’ need for self-actualisation and contributes to providing the supportive and nurturing work environment in which Millennials thrive. Alignment of expectations regarding career development encourages them to adopt a higher level of engagement.

“It enhances their affective commitment, implying that these young workers feel a strong emotional attachment to the organisation and their work. They identify with the organisation’s goal and values, which in turn meets their need for meaningful work and positively influences their performance which results in a lower turnover of staff.”

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