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Oct 21, 2020

Approx. 15 min. read

Millennials in the Workplace: 11 Ways to Attract and Keep Them

Millennials in the workplace is one of the most popular topics among employers across the world. This is not surprising as Millennials make the...

millennials-in-the-workplace-1

Millennials in the workplace is one of the most popular topics among employers across the world. This is not surprising as Millennials make the majority of today’s workforce. 

As Millennials and Gen Z employees make most of the workforce across the globe, employers need to get a better understanding of what Millennials expect from their organizations so that they can deliver personalized employee experience during the entire employee's journey

💡Download our eBook "10 Principles of Modern Employee Communication" and learn how to improve internal communication with Millennials in the workplace!  

Moreover, with the rise of remote work, the way we work has changed significantly, making it even harder for employers to adjust to the new working trends. 

Also, with technology dominating every aspect of Millennials lives, it is not surprising that 41% say they prefer to communicate electronically at work than face to face or even over the telephone.

millennials-workplace-stats

In this blog, we will cover some of the best practices for making sure that you adjust to Millennials' preferences and keep them happy and engaged

The Rise of Millennials in the Workplace

Millennials make the majority of today’s workforce. Moreover, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they will make 75% of the US workforce by 2030

It is not easy to work with and engage Millennials in the workplace. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a lot of talk and research about Millennials in the workplace. 

Employers are trying to understand Millennials’ motivations, needs and expectations in order to attract, engage and keep them in their companies. 

rise-of-millennials-in-the-workplace

Understanding and managing multigenerational workforce requires form employers to adjust their talent management practices and create working environments in which all the generations can strive.  

💡 Check out our webinar on How to Engage and Inform Employees in the Enterprise.

Understanding Millennials in the Workplace

There are many different facts about Millennials, and data from different sources often doesn’t match completely. So let’s first cover some of the main facts about the Millennials. 

Age range

Even though people have different opinions on Millennials’ age ranges, most research defines Millennials as the people who were born between 1977 and 1995

Other generations in the workplace include:

  • Traditionalists – born in 1945 and before
  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X – born between 1965 and 1976
  • Generation Z – born in 1996 and after

generations-in-the-workplace

Population

There is a good reason why do we focus on Millennials: there is 1.8 billion of them, which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s population.

According to Pew Research on Millennials in the United States, there are 72.1 million of them, outnumbering Boomers with a population of numbered 71.6 million. 

Technology lovers

Millennials are a digital generation that feels at home on the Internet. Technology, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, have revolutionized the way they connect and interact with one another and the rest of the world. 

According to Gallup's research on how Millennials want to live and work, 85% of Millennials access the Internet from their phones. Moreover, Millennials spend a lot of their free time on their smartphone, and they expect to have access to their work-related tasks from their mobile devised as well. 

millennials-in-the-workplace-smartphones

The urban population

Millennials are the most urbanized cohort of young adults ever. Young people have always had a propensity to live in cities, and Millennials are a part of this trend. 

According to Financial Times,

“this is most visible in developing countries, where levels of urbanization are generally lower — just over half of millennials live in urban areas — but have increased rapidly over the past 30 years”.

Sense of purpose

Millennials is the generation that buys from and works for businesses that have a purpose at their core, and they want their core values to be aligned with their company's core values

A job is no longer just about a paycheck; for Millennials, it’s very much about purpose, with 75% saying they want their personal values to align with their company’s values and are even willing to take a pay cut to work for a value-aligned company.

Millennials as employees

Millennials behave as consumers of the workplace. They have a lot more freedom and options to look for roles and organizations that enable their best performance. Leaders and managers must understand what millennials expect from their jobs, managers and companies.

How to Attract and Keep Millennials in the Workplace

Here is an infographic with a short overview of how employers should attract and keep Millennials in the workplace. 

Millennials in the workplace infographic

Attracting the right talent is something that every employer is looking to achieve. As Millennials make the majority of today’s workforce, employers have shifted their main focus on attracting them to their workplaces. 

Compared to older generations, Millennials are looking for different workplace characteristics

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to attract and retain Millennials in your workplace. 

1. Improve internal communications

Millennials want to continuously be engaged in many aspects of the business. They want to stay informed. That is why employers need to work on boosting internal communications to improve Millennials’ productivity

They want ongoing conversations. The way Millennials communicate (texting, tweeting, liking, facetiming, etc.) is now real-time and continuous. This dramatically affects the workplace because Millennials are accustomed to constant communication and feedback. 

As Millennials are used to personalized news feeds on their mobile phones, they expect the same communication experience in the workplace.

In other words, the future of work is mobile!

It has been proved that employees who have mobile access to the workplace technology are also more productive.

workplace-mobile-access

2. Support diversity

According to Delloitte’s research on Millennials, 69% of employees who believe their senior management teams are diverse see their working environments as motivating and engaging.  This is true for only 43% of employees who don’t perceive leadership as diverse.

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) also found that 57% of recruiters think that their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates.

In order for employers to achieve diversity in the workplace, they need to have the entire workplace aligned and on the same page. Here, internal communications plays a crucial role

diversity-inclusion-workplace-quote

📙 Also read about the characteristics of great leaders

3. Offer competitive salaries

Recently, we have heard a lot of stories about how money is not the most important factor for Millennials when choosing a new employer. Is that really true?

In a recent study by ManPower Group on Millennial Careers, 92% of Millennials agreed that money is their top priority when choosing an employer. 

how to attract Millennials in the workplace

Important: Even though money may be sufficient to attract them, it is certainly not enough to retain them!

4. Implement advocacy programs

Millennials are extremely active on Social Media networks. To be precise, 42% of Millennials use Social Media at work. So why wouldn’t employers engage their employees in employee advocacy or social selling programs and reward them for doing so. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees. 

Therefore, Millennials in the workplace can make your strongest brand ambassadors and help you attract new talent, build more brand awareness and generate more high quality leads. 

Download

5. Build trust

Trust and good relationships are very important for keeping Millennials in the workplace. A research on best workplace for Millennials, says that when Millennials believe their company has a high-trust culture, they’re 22 times more likely to want to work there for a long time

In comparison, Gen Xers are 16 times more likely to want to stay, and Baby Boomers are 13 times more likely.

💡 Learn more about the importance of trust in the workplace!

6. Offer flexibility and remote work

When asked how they would prefer to schedule their work time, Millennials said they would spend the least amount of time in the office:

  • Millennials: 53%
  • Gen: X 56%
  • Baby Boomers: 63%

As remote work is now here, and it's here to stay, employers need to find new ways to keep their workplace connected and engaged even when socially distanced. 

7. Support teamwork and share of voice

Generations before Millennials did not work as much on team projects during their education years. Today, most colleges and educational institutions support team work through group projects. 

This switch has resulted in changes in how Millennials behave in the workplace. They are more used to working together, sharing knowledge and collaborating

Here is what Millennials in the workplace really want. 

millennials-in-the-workplace-1

8. Digitalize

As we mentioned earlier, Millennials are the generation that has adopted technology more than any generation before. Therefore, employers have to adjust to that trends.

If there are tools and software that employees can use instead of boring Excel spreadsheets, you should implement them at your companies. Fortunately, modern employee apps provide completely new digital employee experience which significantly impacts employee engagement and productivity.  

millennials-workplace-digital

9. Support learning and development

Employers who encourage employee development have lower turnover rates. Millennials want to advance and learn new things in order to progress in their careers. In addition to teaching them new hard skills, employers have to  invest in teaching Millennials personal and interpersonal skills such as communication, patience, coping with pressure and being a team player.

10. Offer career growth opportunities

According to Gallup, 87% of millennials say professional growth and development opportunities are their top priorities.

Therefore, career growth opportunities have a big impact on attracting and retaining Millennials in the workplace. Moreover, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report states that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 

11. Empower

Employee empowerment is all about giving employees autonomy and responsibility to make decisions on their own. However, many employers are not sure about how to empower their employees

As Millennials are the generation that careers a lot about their influence on company’s success, they also want to be empowered. When employees feel that way, as per a survey by TINYpulse, they are 20% more likely to stay in their roles

However, employee empowerment has its negative sides, so employers need to be smart about it. 

📚 Read on: Empowerment in the Workplace: Definition & Best Practices

Problems With Millennials in the Workplace

It is not easy to attract and retain MIllennials in the workplace. This generation has very specific characteristics, needs and expectations. Therefore, employers have to put extra effort to make them happy, engaged and productive. 

Here are a few stats about the problems with Millennial workers we pulled from the Pricewaterhouse Coopers' (PwC) CEO's report

Low engagement

Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce. Only 29% are engaged while 55% are not engaged, and 16% are actively disengaged.

High turnover

Millennials change jobs more often than other generations. About 21%  of Millennials report switching jobs within the last year, and 60% are open to a different opportunity.

Only 18% of those surveyed expected to stay with their current employer for the long term, with over a quarter expecting to have six employers or more in their work life.

High turnover cost

Turnover is expensive. Since Millennials tend to change jobs more often than other generations, employer expenses increase. Millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $30.5 billion annually.

Sceptics of business motives

According to Deloitte’s research, Millennials are skeptical of business’s motives. They do not think highly of leaders’ impact on society, their commitment to improving the world, or their trustworthiness.

A majority of Millennials across the world agree with the statement that businesses “have no ambition beyond wanting to make money.”

Millennials are attracted to employer brands that they admire as consumers. Moreover, 88% were looking for employers with CSR values that matched their own, and 86% would consider leaving an employer whose values no longer met their expectations. (PwC)

High expectations

Millennials work hard and they are ambitious about their career growth. Therefore, they expect much more from employers when it comes to getting feedback, better internal communication, more flexibility, and benefits. 

According to the previously mentioned research, Millennials are looking for a good work/life balance and strong diversity policies but feel that their employers have failed to deliver on their expectations.

Part-timers and freelancers

More and more Millennials get involved in more than one job. The result of this could be that they can not be devoted to their full time jobs as much as employers would like them to be. 

millennials workplace trends

Experts about Millennials in the Workplace [VIDEO]

Check out this great video of Simon Sinek, the author of a great book Start With Why, talking about the Millennials in the workplace. 

Simon says that employers must bear in mind that the Millennial generation grew up impatient, as advances in technology have facilitated instant gratification.

"Except in the case of job satisfaction and strength of relationships, there aint no app for that. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable, messy processes," Simon said.

 

More Interesting Facts about Millennials

Now that we have learned about how to manage Millennials in the workplace, let's take a few additional facts and statistics that can help you better understand this generation. 

  • There are 831 million Millennials, representing one-quarter of the world population. (U.S. Census)
  • Millennials spend an average of 7.2 hours online each day. (eMarketer)
  • Millennials spend an average of two hours and 38 minutes on social media daily. (World Economic Forum)
  • On average, Millennials watch online videos for 2.4 hours per day. (Wibbitz)
  • 74% of millennials buy products online at least once monthly. (Ernst & Young)
  • 40% of Millennials refer to online reviews and testimonials before making a purchase from a brand. (Millennial Marketing)
  • Millennials are more educated than generations before them. Roughly 39% of Millennials have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 19% of the Silent Generation and one-quarter of Baby Boomers. (Pew Research Center)
  • In 2018, 80% of Millennials had worked for their employer for at least 13 months. (Pew Research Center)
  • Millennials are more democratic than the previous generations. While 59% of Millennial voters were registered as democrats or leaned democrat in 2018, just less than half of Boomers, Gen X, and the Silent Generation leaned democratically. (Pew Research Center)
  • Millennials are always on their smartphones—no surprise there. They own, on average, 7.7 connected devices and use 3.3 each day. (Adobe)
  • Nearly three-fourths of Millennials said that the pandemic has made them more sympathetic toward others’ needs and that they intend to take actions to have a positive impact on their communities. (Deloitte)

Use Technology to Build a Millennial-Friendly Workplace 

In order to keep and attract Millennials in the workplace, employers have to be ready to adjust to their needs. One of the best ways to do so is by investing in technology solutions that can help employers motivate, engage, reward and communicate with employees. 

Internal communication tools, such as Smarp, make digital workplace more productive

Employers across the world use Smarp, employee engagement and advocacy tool, to enhance employee satisfaction and engagement. As a result, they have not only employees who are engaged but employees who now act as advocates. 

Having employee advocates and brand ambassadors is beneficial for organizations as they can increase their visibility, improve marketing and sales efforts and help employers attract new employees with Social Recruitment

Schedule a free Smarp demo today to find out how it can help you engage and retain Millennials. 

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Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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