Winning The Hearts Of Millennials

Sept. 28, 2017

It's no secret that Millennials are on the minds of employers in almost every industry these days - and for good reason. They have a fresh set of skills, are more likely to be technologically savvy and often bring a lot of energy to the workforce. As a journalist, I have spent the past eight years covering a variety of industries and one common story topic at almost every publication relates to Millennials. At first I wondered what was so special about this demographic group, but I think I am starting to understand the fascination.  

Forbes contributor Ashley Stahl recently tackled this topic. She wrote: "Millennials are hungry to put their degrees to work, even if it means living with mom and dad. Employers capitalize on that desperation, knowing that as soon as one worker tires out, there will be more kids spilling out of colleges, ready to give 100 percent even if they’re getting almost no compensation in return." 

Sounds like a good deal for employers, right? Think again. According to Stahl's report, approxiamtely 60 percent of Millennials leave their jobs within three years, which can cost companies anywhere between $15,000 to $25,000 per employee departure. Employers need to be asking themselves how to retain this valuable workforce.  

But this goes beyond salary. While Millennials may indeed be willing to work for lower salaries, they are looking to be compensated beyond money. As a fellow Millennial, here are my ideas for industry employers to turn their young employees into long-term company veterans: 

Ensure work is intellectually stimulating 

In an industry where technology like cashless payments and smart vending machines are increasingly prevalent, this should be an easy task. Millennials bring a technological savviness unlike many older demographics and this should be capitalized upon. We also tend to live a more integrated work and life existence, so we look to our work for overall satisfaction. The happier we are at work, the more likely we will stick around for the long haul.  

Consider going remote 

Can a job be successfully completed out of the office? Millennials don't want to be glued to a bleak cubicle. Instead, we are open to working at home, at the local coffee shop or another unconventional location. As a work-from-home employee, I appreciate the ability to work in the comfort of my own home, find myself actually more productive in this environment and appreciate saving money with little transportation costs.  

Beneficial benefits 

An increasingly popular benefits plan is known as a "cafeteria plan," and allows employers to allocate a specific amount to apply to the benefits the employee wants. Since we are younger, perhaps having a rich healthcare plan is not on our priority list. Be creative. Perhaps employee discounts, meal programs or in-site fitness programs may be more appreciated. 

Professional development 

According to a study from Pricewaterhouse Cooper, opportunities in career advancement is one of the most prized characteristics that an employer can offer Millennials. Offering young employees professional development programs is a great way to encourage them to advance their careers, keep them engaged and allow them to continue to build upon their skills at your company.  

While these tips are definitely not a guaranteed recipe to keep Millennials around for the long haul, they may certainly help keep these young employees engaged, motivated and fulfilled as members of your company.