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[Author: Laramie Sandquist, CPCU, CLU, ARM, Federated Mutual Insurance Company, 01.17 | Keywords: Human Resources, Millennials]

Safely Speaking

So, the twenty-something walks into your dealership looking for a job. She hands you her resumé. You take a look. What practically flies off the page at you is her work history: three part-time and two full-time jobs in five years. Not particularly the kind of job commitment you’re looking for in a new hire. Your first inclination may be to show her the door. But, hold on—you may want to reconsider.

Who IS this new generation?

Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1994, generally enter the workforce with a plan—a plan to stay at any one job for fewer than three years.1 For the most part, this new generation of workers has deep-sixed the long-held notion employers have had for workforce stability. The days of employees’ lifetime commitment to any one company are largely gone, replaced with job hopping.

The calculation is simple: Staying at a job for only a few years could equal 15 or more jobs in a lifetime! What employer wouldn’t swoon at the thought of that much turnover and the investment in recruiting and training that comes with it? If there is any, that’s the bad news.

But, understanding this new wave of workers and ensuring that you, as their employer, accept their different view of the employment scene, could help you keep them engaged and motivated, and quite possibly, give them a reason to stay put longer than surveys indicate. Their flexibility and desire to grow professionally, their appetite for multi-tasking and their self-confidence when facing change and challenges is a perfect storm for employers looking to add employees who can make a difference in their business.2 That’s the good news.

First, get them in the door.

Millennials aren’t looking for the same perks and benefits previous generations sought. Pensions and retirement plans are barely a blip on their radar. This is a generation used to being affected by economic swings that resulted in parents’ layoffs and employment uncertainty. Therefore, their outlook on career goals is less on creating a comfortable lifestyle à la their parents, and more on making a difference in the world around them.

Companies wanting to recruit younger workers should focus on offering benefits that appeal to them. They want mentoring and experience-building opportunities. They want flexibility in their work environment and in the work itself. They want to know that what they do matters and they’re allowed to contribute to the big picture. They want to work for a company whose values reflect theirs.

If you can offer them more than just a paycheck, you may reap a workforce filled with energy and passion for helping you grow your company. And, supplying the kinds of opportunities they’re looking for just may switch off their seemingly inborn predisposition to move on. Showing them you support their convictions may be the impetus they need to stick around and become a key person at your company.

Next, get them to stay.

Once you entice them to say yes to a job offer, it’s up to you to make staying with your company something they want. Remember, you’re investing in their employment, so it only makes sense to try to give them the experiences they seek.

Playing into their wants for fair compensation (many leave college with thousands of dollars of debt2), setting up a Private Bonus Plan for them could be another motivation to buck the trend of job hopping. A Private Bonus Plan pays your top employees bonuses on a regular schedule as incentive to stay on the job long-term. A typical Plan pays key employees on an every-five-year schedule. Funding the plan can be done with life insurance.

You can include or exclude employees at your discretion. Once you determine who your valued employees are (and, with luck, some could be the Millennials who didn’t even know they wanted to stay!), you can communicate your Plan.

Dangling the right carrot (bonus) in front of your younger workers just might convince them that maybe career longevity is the change they’re looking for.

Federated Insurance can help you decide if a Private Bonus Plan is right for your business. Contact your local Federated representative to learn more.

1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/the-future-of-work-job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials/
2 http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/executive-development/custom-programs/~/media/DF1C11C056874DDA8097271A1ED48662.ashx

This article is for general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention only. The information is accurate as of January 2017 and subject to change. This article should not be considered legal advice. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. © 2017 Federated Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.