According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, within five years, millennials will constitute more than half of the United States workforce. That’s good news for practices that are looking for young, motivated professionals who are willing to put in the effort for success in the workplace. Many practices, however, struggle not only to attract millennials, but to retain them once they’ve taken a position in the workplace. How do you attract millennials to your practice and retain them long-term once they’re there?
Invest in your employees. Millennials are coming out of school with massive amounts of student loan debt and little hope of repaying it. In other cases, they need additional training in the form of certifications, further degrees, and other education in order to advance their careers, but they don’t have the funds to cover it themselves. Smart employers who want to retain millennial workers are offering that training and committing to their employees in order to receive a similar commitment in return. Try:
- Offering student loan relief to help millennials get out from under that load of debt.
- Providing tuition reimbursement for current students.
- Sending millennials to seminars and other training events on a regular basis.
- Paying for additional certifications for your employees that will help them stay current in their fields or move further in their existing field.
It’s important to increase training opportunities for millennials, who are often driven to continue learning and push themselves to higher levels. They don’t necessarily want to sit in a classroom, where someone else will tell them how to accomplish a task. Instead, they want hands-on opportunities to increase their learning, improve their skills, and become a more effective and efficient part of your practice. Extending training in new areas will keep millennials interested, engaged, and ready to take on new challenges. It does require an investment on your part, but investing in your millennial employees will offer the opportunity to further their growth and make them a more integral part of your practice.
Watch your expectations. The millennial generation grew up very differently from many of those that came before it. They saw parents who were over-committed, over-stressed, and stretched far too thin as they struggled to balance work and home responsibilities. Millennials aren’t prepared to give that same level of commitment to their jobs. They want a balance between their work lives and their home lives–and it’s up to you to ensure that your practice offers that opportunity.
Create clear rules for use of social networking sites and other distractions. You can limit it in patient areas and during official work times, but be careful about eliminating it completely in your practice: many millennials feel that it’s their right to take periodic nonproductive breaks. Facebook and Twitter are this generation’s smoke break, and smart employers are acknowledging it!
Watch your hours. Don’t force your millennial employees–especially receptionists and other employees who don’t require degrees in the medical field–to work excessive hours. 40 hours a week is all many millennials are willing to commit to their jobs.
Offer freedom and flexibility within the workplace. As a medical practice, you still have plenty of room to allow your millennial employees the freedom to think creatively and exercise their own innovations. They have great ideas and the tools to implement them. A willingness to learn from these spunky young employees will not only keep millennials in your practice, it will also benefit the practice as a whole.
Keep your technology up-to-date. If you aren’t using the latest technology in your field, whether it’s at your reception desk, with your patient charts, or in each patient lane, you’ll quickly discover that millennials aren’t interested. They know how to use the latest technology. They’ve stayed on top of the latest innovations in the field. More importantly, they expect you to do the same. If you aren’t adapting to changes in technology, millennials will quickly find an office where they have access to the latest conveniences, whether it’s a paperless system in the exam rooms or an updated scheduling system that removes a great deal of the stress from your employees.
Showcase your values. That doesn’t just mean that you paste your practice’s motto on the walls and across your letterhead. It means that you show that your practice stands for something. Millennials have causes. They care about how you treat your patients, how you treat your employees, and what you’re managing to accomplish, not just during your average work day, but when the work day is over. This might include:
- Regular donations to a charity that you’re passionate about.
- Volunteering as a team on the weekends or after work.
- Showing high levels of patient care, including attention to all the details.
- Taking care of your employees both at work and outside it: noticing birthdays, offering support through major life changes and events, and supporting your employees in their endeavors.
Millennials want to be part of a workplace that means something, stands for something, and makes a difference in the community. When you offer them the chance to feel like they’re making a difference, they’re much more likely to be loyal to your practice.
Attracting millennial employees to your practice and keeping them once they are there is becoming one of the most critical elements of keeping your practice up and running. As increasing numbers of baby boomers enter retirement, the millennial workforce is your target to fill a number of positions–and keeping them is integral to keeping your practice flowing smoothly. Looking for other ways to make keep your practice working at its peak efficiency? Contact us today.