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Retaining Gen Y Talent: 6 Key Tips On How Keep Your Millennial Employees From Leaving

By Lisa Orrell

To many employers, the Millennials (aka: Gen Y) entering our professional work environments are a mystery. And research shows they are certainly a unique generation that has no trouble telling employers what they want, and need, to be happy at work.

Here are 6 effective tips that HR executives should share with their front-line Boomer and Gen X management teams to effectively retain their company's valuable Millennial talent:

1.Constant Contact: Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs polled more than 1000 Millennials about what they wanted from an employer, and over 60% of them responded that they wanted to hear from their managers at least once a day. They want to communicate with you often so make it happen or they will leave!

2.Praise Culture: Millennials need praise. If they are not feeling "valued" they will leave. Many well-known companies are shifting to a "praise culture" to retain them... and it improves retention of their Boomer and Gen X employees, too!

3.Rapid Advancement: Millennials feel that having to "pay their dues" is just occupying space for no good reason. If a Millennial employee is truly qualified for a promotion, many companies now offer it, versus giving the position to someone that has simply been at the company longer.

4.Cubicle Shackles: Millennials have a very hard time understanding why they need to be sitting in a cubicle to do their job. With modern technology, they want the flexibility to work anytime, from anywhere, and not have to always sit at their desk to get work done. Many companies are revamping their policies to provide more flexibility, and they're also using it as a recruiting "perk" to attract Millennials to their workforce.

5.Mentor Programs: This is key! Millennials have grown-up with a lot of guidance from their parents, society, and teachers. And they now expect this type of handholding at work. So, heed this advice! If your company, large or small, doesn't offer a formal (or informal) mentorship program, create one.

6.Curt Communication: Many Millennials have been raised "respected" by our society and by their parents. The old saying, "A child should be seen and not heard" was eliminated when they were born. They have a very hard time working for managers who possess a curt communication style, and they will not tolerate being spoken to in a disrespectful manner for very long.