Tips for Attracting, Engaging and Retaining Millennials in the Workplace

By: Laura Lofthouse, Senior Vice President, Media Delivery Team, Valassis
Published Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016

Tips for Attracting, Engaging and Retaining Millennials in the Workplace

Millennial -- the Google definition: A person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; A Generation Y-er

The millennial generation has become the largest in history to enter into the workforce. By the year 2020, roughly 50 percent of the workforce will be made up of the millennial generation.  Millennials have changed and influenced all aspects of the world from politics, to media, communication and business. This influential generation marches forward to inspire and motivate change while driving growth for organizations around the world. Millennials have influenced the way businesses innovate, market and sell to their end customers.

Some quick facts about millennials that you may not have heard:

  • 44 percent of millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards1;
  • Millennials are on track to become to most educated generation in American history2;
  • 92 percent of millennials believe that business success should be measured by more than profit3;
  • 42 percent of millennials believe they should have five or more jobs throughout their career4;
  • 66 percent of millennials look up a store or business after learning their friend has checked in on social media5;
  • 29 percent of millennial workers think work meetings are an efficient way to decide on a course of action, compared to 45 percent of Boomers2;
  • The average tenure for millennials is 2 years2.

To harness the impact and influence millennials bring to the workforce, businesses must focus their resources on three key initiatives:

1. Attracting millennials – What are millennials looking for in an employer?

  • 47 percent of millennials work for companies with a fewer than 100 employees3;
  • 52 percent of millennials say opportunities for career progression make an employer attractive5;
  • 22 percent of millennials see training and development as the most valued benefit from an employer5.

Takeaway: Career-pathing and professional development is imperative!

2. Engaging millennials – What gets millennials excited about their work?

  • 80 percent of millennials prefer on-the- spot recognition over formal reviews and feel it is imperative for their growth and understanding of a job2;
  • 88 percent prefer a collaborative work culture versus a competitive one6;
  • The most common motivator amongst this generation is that their work is meaningful3.

Takeaway: Recognition programs, team environments and initiatives that allow millennials to give back to the community are a must!

3. Retaining millennials – What keeps millennials with employers? 

  • 65 percent say the opportunity for personal development is the most influential factor of their current job5;
  • 84 percent say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition2;
  • 68 percent of millennials with mentors intend to stay at their current job for more than five years7;
  • Millennials are more engaged and committed when management shares why decisions are made8.

Takeaway: Mentorship programs, job-sharing, rotational programs, open communication and a role where associates feel valued are driving retention!

Research shows that companies that effectively leverage cross-generational inclusivity foster a more productive workplace. As the millennial generation continues to flood the workforce, it is imperative that companies understand and embrace generational differences while bridging the gaps.