HR Indaba learns 3 sure-fire ways to scare off your Millennial employees


Springage by Deloitte's Neliswa Fente shares the red flags that make young employees run a mile.

It would be unwise to have a discussion about future-proofing an organisation without mentioning the M-word. Millennials were the focus of the discussion with Neliswa Fente Springage by Deloitte lead at the HR Indaba at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

Neliswa is the co-founder of the youth-led innovation consultancy SpringAge which, in 2017, was bought by Deloitte and is dedicated to finding solutions to South African issues and assisting organisations to better serve their markets.  

In her presentation, Neliswa said that while the many stereotypes about Millennials held true, many organisations failed to recognise the silver lining that came with each of them. 

The notion that young people don’t seem to stay in organisations very long, for example, could be better managed by organisations that allow them to leave and then maintain a healthy relationship with them after their departure. This is because these departing employees could be willing to rejoin the organisation, once they’ve had more experience and were able to deliver more value to the future of the business. 

For those companies that don’t want to see their employees leave at all, avoid these three sure-fire ways to scare them intro looking for a new employer: 

1. Having a “wait your turn” approach to young employees. 
One thing that is a red flag for Millennials is a culture where the views of young people do not carry weight. Neliswa said Millennials are perceived as being impatient because they are too eager to have a seat at the decision-making table but the flip side of that is that employers are too quick to dismiss young employees' views. 

“Even in organisations that proclaim to value the views of Millennials by having things like Future Leader forums, the subtle implication is that I, as a young person in that forum, am not able to be a leader now. I must wait my turn,” said Neliswa

2. Failing to live up to the values that the company espouses 
One common mistake that business leaders make is not living up to the values and purpose that they espouse to. If your organisation purports to champion collaboration, transparency and diversity, yet the entire executive team is full of leaders that look same and have offices far removed from their employees, working in silos, Millennials will see right through that. 

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3. Not viewing and treating them as holistic individuals 
Millennials take work-life balance to the next level. For them, they do not see their work selves as different from their home selves, and they wish employers would view them in that regard as well.  

“If my 9-to-5 is a corporate job, but I moonlight as a photographer in the evenings and weekends, I am bound to be more loyal to an organisation that recognises that side of me and allows me to add value in my capacity as a photographer as well,” said Neliswa. 


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