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3 Ways to Retain Millennials

February 23, 2017


Earlier this week, we talked about how Generation Z will soon be joining the workforce. But these days, it's still all about Millennials. Baby Boomers are retiring or are on the cusp of retirement, and leaving lots of jobs that need filled. While it's important to find people to fill those jobs, it's just as important to retain them. But it's no secret that Millennials are known as the "job hoppers."  So what's an organization to do?

How to Retain Millennials

In a 2016 study by Gallup discussed in this Harvard Business Review article, the following three areas were found to be most important to Millennials when applying for a job. Let's look at these areas and discuss what your organization can do to better retain Millennials long-term.

  1. Opportunity to Learn and Grow. 
    The ability to develop oneself within an organization was reported as the Number 1 most important thing to Millennials when applying for a job. This means that Millennials want to work for organizations that advocate things such as continual and pertinent career development training, mentoring programs, and hiring/promoting from within. Millennials will look for jobs with these perks, and the more you can do to provide this type of development, the better. During interviews, consider telling candidates about opportunities such as these that your organization offers. Any success stories that you can speak to - or stories from others who have experienced those successes - should be shared.

  2. Quality of Manager and Management.
    The top reason for employee turnover is due to a poor relationship between incumbents and their direct supervisors. Thus, if Millennials feel that they are not getting what they need from supervisors in your organization, you are likely not going to retain them. The same applies to general management. Millennials like receiving feedback, and that includes things like company initiatives, goals, and values. If Millennials feel that this information is being hidden from them, or if they are not in line with the vision of management, they may be more inclined to look for a different job. As a first step, organizations should take the time to investigate how incumbents perceive their relationships with management at all levels. If problem areas are identified, trainings should be held with management on identified struggle areas.

  3. Type of Work.
    If Millennials are not happy with the type of work that they are doing on the job, they are likely not going to last long in your organization. For example, during an interview or assessment process, if you learn that someone prefers a lot of task variety, and you're offering them a position that essentially requires doing the same task all day, they'll likely leave after a short time (if they take the job). In this scenario, the employee will not feel satisfied by the work they are producing; the employee is not a good fit for that job. Employers should incorporate fit-style questions to their selection process to help uncover whether candidates will be a good fit for job tasks, the organization, and work environment, as a few examples. As mentioned, an interview or assessment can help you uncover this information during the selection process.

Check out this whitepaper to learn more about how to successfully engage with Millennials in the workplace:

develop millennial leaders

Lindsey Burke Lindsey Burke is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. She is largely responsible for client support and managing clients in industries including manufacturing, sales, and healthcare. Lindsey completed her M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Xavier University and earned a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology from Kent State University.