7 Ways to Retain Your Best Millennial Employees


Keeping your workers engaged and motivated at work is the key to successful employee retention. But how do you deal with impulsive, ambitious and restless millennials?

Popularly known for job hopping, millennials have an average job tenure of 16 months, an eye blink compared to the three years average tenure of the generations before them. They’re also being called out for being too obsessed with social media, extremely lazy, and arrogant (read: won’t do what they’re told at work). Despite this, hiring millennials is crucial to the success of your company. Since they’re going to dominate the workforce soon, you’re going to need their tech skills, fresh perspectives, and innovation.

Ready to work with this young, energetic workforce? Here are brilliant ways to retain your top millennial employees.

1. Give them freedom and flexibility

Let them be their own boss whenever you can. Empower them by giving autonomy and responsibility when it comes to their daily tasks, and provide them the freedom to pitch new ideas on how to improve processes, particularly when it comes to using technology.

Millennials value flexibility and the option to occasionally work remotely can really help their productivity and start to build trust, which is essential for loyalty and therefore retention.

2. Judge them on results, not hours worked

Remember to always measure performance by the quality of work done rather than the number of hours worked. This will encourage millennials to look for better, more efficient and innovative ways to do tasks, which at the end of the day, your whole business will benefit from.

3. Offer fair compensation

Reward every job well done with fair incentives. The last thing you want is a millennial quitting because he feels that his hard work is disregarded. To be a leader worth their respect, you have to treat everyone fairly. This can often mean personalizing compensation based on performance. On the flip side, you also shouldn’t tolerate employees with consistent low performance. This not only reflects poorly on your role as a boss or manager, it can also affect your other worker’s morale.

4. Encourage professional development

Millennials hate being stuck. Working at a dead-end job that doesn’t allow them to grow their skills, make more money, and get recognized for their hard work will surely make them unhappy. Who wouldn’t?

Case in point: Millennials are ambitious and if they can’t see any development in their skills or career after a year of working, then they’re likely to walk out the door.

5. Mentor them

Millennials appreciate guidance when it comes to work. Help them by assigning mentors that can give them objective feedback to improve their performance. Mentoring doesn’t always have to be from a direct manager – often it’s actually better to have someone who can provide an impartial opinion and give more general guidance on life at work. For larger companies this is key – it’s much better for an employee to move internally to another team they’re better suited to than to a competitor.

6. Create a millennial-friendly office

Once you hire your millennials, it’s important to keep them engaged and happy in your company. This is not all about ping-pong tables and bean bags (although these can help!). More important is your workplace culture. Are employees listened to? Do you provide professional development and mentoring? The right benefits can help here too. We all know that millennials are often cash-strapped so travel allowance or discounts on things like gym passes are great incentives for starters.

7. Make their job meaningful

Unlike the previous generations whose job satisfaction is mostly defined by growing salary and promotions, millennials search for meaning and purpose to achieve happiness at work. As much as millennials would like it, it’s clear that not every job can ‘make a difference’ – there’s simply not enough of these jobs out there.

However, it’s still possible for them to feel like a valuable part of society and have a job with meaning. In order to instill this purpose, you have to make efforts to create opportunities for your team to help in a charitable way, mostly through CSR initiatives. For example, you can take your team out to a public outreach program that will exercise their kindness and generosity or to a beach clean-up to improve the environment.

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Team Vanna

Vanna's expert writing team

3 min read

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