Undervalue millennials at your peril

The majority of millennials think their skill set is being underused by employers. Research by Deloitte has discovered four in five (79 per cent) employees born after 1982 feel they are not being given the platform to fulfil their potential within their current organisations.

This is not only acting as a brake on their career ambitions, but such a feeling is obviously not conducive to healthy employee engagement. If companies want to retain their best staff, their concerns have to be listened to and action taken to address any worries they have. Nearly half (43 per cent) of those questioned also think they need to work elsewhere to meet their career ambitions.

A new skill set?

Millennials will make up around 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025, so it's vital that HR departments are engaging with this cohort in order to make sure they are happy in their positions.

With Virtuali finding that 72 per cent already view themselves as leaders - despite what their actual title is - it's clear the decision-making process will be moved away from a hierarchical model.

There's no doubting that millennials are changing how the modern workplace operates, as they are better equipped to learn new skills, think creatively and respond to the ever-changing business environment.

The need for engagement

Regardless of how companies are structured, however, there needs to be a greater focus on engagement. Part of this process includes looking at their own agendas, as many workers have voiced concerns over the overwhelming focus on profit by many businesses.

More than three-quarters of UK employees believe companies are focusing too heavily on their own agendas, instead of paying more attention to wider society. This underlines how employees want to work for companies that are displaying strong social leadership.

"The survey sends a clear and strong message to business leaders that, to stay engaged with millennials, they need to focus on their broader purpose and their people as much as they do on products and profits," said Steve Almond, chairman of Deloitte Global.

Holding on to your best staff is obviously about much more than simply offering them a clear career progression - companies also need to illustrate their commitment to being somewhere they are proud to work.

Attracting the right workers

Businesses are ultimately about people and purpose, not products and profits. Unless they have effective leadership, and a clear plan on how the business should operate and impact society, they will struggle to retain highly-ambitious millennials.

If companies are serious about tackling talent drain, mentoring has to play a big role from an early stage, as this gives them the perfect platform to aid the development of core skills among employees.

"Millennials want more from business than might have been the case 50, 20, or even 10 years ago," stated Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global. "They are sending a very strong signal to the world’s leaders that when doing business, they should do so with purpose. The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership."