The One Barrier to Retaining Millennial Employees that You May be Overlooking

Posted by: Kim Runyen

Study after study on the art and science of attracting Millennial employees has come up with the same results: Millennials want what most of us want from an employer – competitive pay and benefits and development opportunities and flexibility. While many employers may think they’re going above and beyond to offer the type of work environment and compensation that Millennials demand, the sad truth is that something as simple as your administrative practices could be chipping away at your ability to retain employees in this age bracket.

According to a recent survey on expense reporting processes from TriNet, business expense reporting procedures by some companies have caused negative impact on Millennials. This includes their personal finances and ability to take advantage of professional opportunities – leading some Millennials to look for other jobs.

Here is how something as seemingly trivial as expense-reporting processes may be affecting your ability to retain Millennial employees:

Taxing Their Finances

According to the expense reporting survey, three out of five employees have had problems paying a personal bill because they were waiting for an expense reimbursement from their employer. Millennials are 21 percent more likely than gen Xers or baby boomers to have difficulty paying a personal bill because they were waiting to be reimbursed for business expenses.

Some employees reported waiting up to five weeks to get reimbursed – exceeding the standard credit card billing cycle of 30 days. Considering Millennials are more likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck and less likely to have a savings account, this could mean either incurring more debt and interest on their credit cards or further hurting their credit by not paying a bill on time.

Foregoing Professional Development

More than half of employees who responded to the survey said they have given up the opportunity to attend a conference, training or other professional opportunities because their employer’s reimbursement policy made it too difficult. We already know that professional development is vital to Millennial employment satisfaction. While many employers are willing to invest in expensive growth opportunities, their outdated reimbursement processes could be turning this important benefit from tempting to tedious.

Lack of Technology
Surprisingly, many businesses are still using Microsoft Excel and paper receipts to track and manage their expenses. This paper-pushing not only wastes time and delays reimbursement, it is a retention turn-off to tech-savvy Millennials.

The Solution

It is surprising that any employer should lose Millennial employees due to archaic expense reporting policies when there are inexpensive, reliable and efficient expense reporting tools readily available. The most successful brands with high Millennial retention are adopting a cloud-based app, with a mobile component, that allows them to fully automate the expense-reporting process…from anywhere. Expense-reporting technology cuts down tremendously on administrative time, reimbursement time, human errors and potentially the loss of valuable Millennial employees.

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About Kim Runyen

Kim Runyen works for TriNet, a leading cloud-based provider of comprehensive human resources solutions for small to midsize businesses. She shares HR tips and other information that entrepreneurs need on the TriNet blog at Kim's full bio.