People want to be valued, heard, and accepted. We all know that this is the core of what a brand should focus on when it comes to connecting with consumers.
We also need to apply it to the people we work with — both to employees in our office and to colleagues we collaborate with — and to ourselves.
If all your attention is going to keeping the squeaky wheel happy, the people who show up and deliver for you without demanding extra recognition or VIP treatment will leave.
This is especially true for millennials (the generation born between 1979-2000, so any adult currently 39 or younger). Contrary to popular belief, millennials don't need extra special treatment, but because they were raised in a school system that in the early 1980's switched to prioritizing group work and all-in collaboration over independent study, they do need to feel heard.
Millennials will rarely tolerate being overlooked because of high-maintenance colleagues. If you aren't actively showing them that you value what they bring to the table, this group — who were also repeatedly taught never to settle or waste their life — will find a table that's more welcoming to true team players.
Claiming that "no one is loyal anymore" is a lazy way of excusing your role in the matter. If a millennial stops trying to help you improve your company, it's because they've lost respect for you and feel they're now wasting their time. Loyalty is bred out of respect and that respect starts at the top. Respect yourself and others will respect you — and they'll stick around.
Originally published August 2016