Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomers and Gen-X to become America’s largest generation. This extends into the workplace where one-in-three American workers are Millennials, recently surpassing Gen-X as the largest group in the workforce today. By 2025, Millennials are projected to consist of 75% of the global workforce (Pew Research, 2015). Whether this is exciting or terrifying news to you, the fact is that Millennials are a group that must be considered when making business decisions.
Building a successful and sustainable company will hinge on hiring and retaining talent from this younger generation. At first glance, the employment data associated with hiring millennials presents a challenge. Here are some statistics:
– 41% of Millennials expect to remain at a new position for 2 years or less (jobapplicationcenter.com, 2017).
– 55% of Millennials are not engaged at work (Gallup).
– 51% of companies report the cost of training and development is highest among Millennials (3clogic.com, 2015).
– 60% of Millennials are open to a new job opportunity (Gallup).
The challenge becomes even steeper when hiring Millennials for call center jobs, an industry already associated with high employee turnover. A recent industry study found that call center employees between the ages of 20-24 only work in the call center for an average of 1.1 years. That said, beating the averages and retaining Millennials in call center jobs starts with understanding this tech-savvy, creatively driven generation. When hiring millennials for your call center, consider these core motivators to help you engage and retain Millennial employees.
Flexible workplace and schedule
Workplace flexibility is highly coveted for Millennials. This generation is quickly changing the standard nine-to-five, in-office workday. The possibility of working remotely and setting their own hours is a huge factor for Millennials when deciding where to work. 92 percent of Millennials expressed a desire to work remotely at least 1 day per week and 87 percent want to decide their own hours (Forbes, 2013).
This may sound radical and difficult to manage, but allowing for a more flexible work place has shown to increase productivity and fosters a trust between employee and employer that lowers overall turnover rate (icmi.com, 2017). The technology is available for employees to telecommute — if possible, use this to your advantage and set your call center apart from the competition.
Meaningful work and company culture
Finding meaningful work that contributes to a positive company culture is very important to Millennial employees. Infuse new employee training with company culture and tie their role as a call center employee into the bigger picture of the business. Millennials need to understand how their work is impacting their co-workers and why their work matters.
Call center employees are on the front lines of a business and can make a significant impact on the customer’s perception of a company. Communicating the fact that their job is meaningful will help keep a Millennial employee engaged and productive.
Technology to collaborate
Millennials grew up with technology and are quick to adopt new ways to communicate. It is important to Millennials that a company embraces technology and looks for ways to use the latest innovations. When deciding where to work, 78% of Millennials said they were strongly influenced by how innovative a company is (3clogic.com, 2015). Incorporate technology that enables team collaboration and improves efficiency to help retain Millennial call center employees.
The opportunity to engage Millennial employees through technology extends to their coveted mobile devices. Mobile solutions that integrate with employees’ daily habits are shown to increase employee engagement. Using innovative communication technology also helps to enable telecommuting and communicate company (important motivators mentioned above).
Opportunities to learn and grow
It’s vital that Millennials are given the opportunity to learn at their job and can see a path forward through the call center. Encourage them to follow their interests and tie it back your business in creative ways. Harness Millennials’ curiosity by showing them how the skills they develop at your company can propel them forward within the organization. Communicate examples of employees who started in similar positions and grew into leadership roles.
Although call center work can be monotonous, don’t let it become boring. Boredom is the first step to a losing a Millennial. The opportunity to new skills and advancing their career will help fight this group’s tendency to find somewhere more exciting to work.
Now is the time to embrace Millennials in the workplace. Companies who account for this generation’s new approach to work will be better positioned to succeed over the coming decades. Call centers have the opportunity to lead their businesses into the future by hiring and retaining Millennial employees, understanding their motivations and innovating with their interests in mind. The long-term health of your business depends on it.
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