How to Retain Millennial Employees


According to Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, 66% of millennials are expected to leave their workplaces within 6 months while only 27% are expected to stay between 5-10 years. While these numbers are shocking, there’s no doubt that it’s an accurate reflection of the gap between the baby boomer and millennial generations. This is causing a great shift in the way employers must retain these new hires–especially since they make up such a large part of the workforce in an otherwise very competitive job market. 

Therefore, in order for employers to retain millennial employees, it’s crucial to understand what makes millennials tick. What do they value and what do they tend to engage with? In this article, we’ll talk about 5 things employers can do and incorporate into their business practices to resonate and keep today’s talent. 

Instill a sense of purpose 

Like many of us, millennials are still concerned with their job’s salary and benefits. But another thing that is equally important to them is the sense of purpose their position is serving—not just within the company, but to the rest of the world. Millennials want to contribute their talents to help others and are always looking for how their actions will have a positive impact on society. If given the choice between two companies with good salary and benefits, millennials will typically defer to the one whose sense of purpose is greater. 

Partake in corporate social responsibility 

One of the reasons why brands like Toms or Warby Parker does so well is because they have corporate social responsibility. For every pair of Toms shoes sold, the company gives a pair of shoes to people in need. Warby Parker does the same with a pair of glasses. Both companies believe in every person’s right to something, whether that’s protected feet or being able to see. 

Millennials are all about giving back, protecting resources, and people’s rights. They flock toward companies that reflect this in their business practices, whether it’s donating a certain percentage of sales toward a charity, doing volunteer work, or partnering with other organizations. Millennials feel that employers have a responsibility to make the world a better place and would much rather purchase from or work for a company that does so.


As evidenced by the use of social media today, perhaps forming a sense of connection with millennials is one of the most important things employers can do to engage with this generation. Connecting on both a personal and professional level is a must. On a professional level, millennials find it important to know what companywide initiatives are; how departments are working with one another to achieve these goals; using technology to work smarter, not harder; and want to ensure that communication is constant between coworkers, managers, bosses, and higher ups. 
On a personal level, millennials will more likely stay at a job where they feel connected to the people they work with. They’re looking for mentors, people to relate to, and an overall sense of comradery that results from teambuilding. Millennials use social media to connect with people from all over the world and they will bring this sense of connection to the workplace.

Provide frequent feedback 

It’s important for millennials to always know where they stand in their work. As go-getters who are ambitious, fast-paced, and always thinking about the next thing, they’re looking to their employers to provide frequent feedback about their performance. This not only fuels their need for continual self-improvement, but also helps them identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses so that they can leverage them for future leadership positions. Which brings us to our last and final point.

Encourage growth/career opportunities

This may seem like the typical thing one should do to retain any type of employee—millennial or not—but the truth is that many millennials are looking to climb the corporate ladder much sooner than later these days, and are looking for ways to grow and expand themselves and the company. The millennial generation is the most diverse in terms of education and ethnicity. They understand globalization on a much deeper scale, and are very concerned with being able to take their talent to the next level. 

So it’s important for employers to nurture individual growth by providing millennials with opportunities for promotions/leadership positions, exposure to challenging/creative projects, and even international assignments. Millennials appreciate it when employers invest in them; as a result, they will work harder and want to stay in an environment where they feel respected and valued. 

Have any other thoughts about how employers can retain millennial employees? Let us know in the comment section below!  

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