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This can sometimes be difficult to remember when payroll time comes around, but your employees aren’t an expense—they’re an investment!

And yet, for some employers, it’s an investment that can seem dicey, at best. This is especially true of younger employees. How often have you heard these words spoken about millennial employees: We hire them and we train them, and then they leave!

It can be frustrating to watch talented millennial workers jump ship just as soon as you get them up to speed—but it’s not necessarily because they are flighty or disloyal. It may be because you haven’t made the right investment in them.

Invest in Them as Individuals

So how can you invest in millennial talents, in a way that boosts retention?

One thing to remember is that today’s employees don’t like to be treated like they’re parts of a machine. They don’t want to feel like they are interchangeable with other employees. They want to feel like you know them—and value them—as individuals.

So I’d simply ask: How often do you stop to talk with your millennial employees one-on-one? How often do you ask them about their career goals? How often do you share with them some of your own passions or pain points? And how often do you show them how their particular role contributes to the big picture?

These are all important ways in which you can invest in millennials as people, not just as parts of your corporate apparatus.

Invest in Professional Development Opportunities

Millennial employees still have a lot of career ahead of them, and they want to be as proficient and as well-rounded as possible.

One way you can invest in them, then, is to provide them with ample experience to learn things on the job—through seminars and training sessions, yes, but also through chances to collaborate across departments and disciplines.

Basically, show your employees that you’ve invested in their future—not just in what they have to offer you right now.

Invest in Personalized Performance Reviews

One more thing I’ll mention is that millennials tend to really like feedback—good or bad, just so long as it’s directly relevant to them.

Avoid cookie-cutter performance evaluations. It’s really worth the extra time to make sure you talk with your millennial employees one-on-one, and give them feedback that’s tailored to their career ambitions.

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