Why your company needs Millennials and how to keep them

genyIn fewer than 10 years, nearly half the working population will be Millennials (born between 1982 and 1995). If you think your organization will be able to get along without them, you aren’t being realistic. Even if you know you need Generation Y, do you know who they are?

Millennials (GenY) are not the 20-30 year olds of the past; they have their own unique set of expectations when it comes to work.

Know them

Studies show that Gen Y values making friends at work, having a job people look up to, and even amount of vacation time less than previous generations. What they want is training, personal growth and career development.

Money isn’t the only motivator for Gen Y. It isn’t even the biggest motivator. They value doing meaningful work and getting a sense of accomplishment from their work higher and nearly as high as salary.

It might seem like making a ton of changes to accommodate this new generation of employee is a lot of work. And what’s in it for you anyways? A lot, actually.

You want to reach Gen Y. They are your future leaders. They might be your leaders sooner than you think. Over a third of them are already leading their own side businesses. 92% of 21-24 years old surveyed believe that understanding entrepreneurship is vital to success on the job. They are preparing to lead your organization to a level you might not yet realize it can reach.

Keep them

Millennials are notorious for leaving jobs . In fact, 43% believe they could easily find another job if they left or lose their current one. So, what’s going to make them want to stick with you?

Employers who understand how to appeal to Gen Y values will end up with the most talented Millennials in the next few years. You’ll need to empower them while keeping it fun in a flexible environment.

Pay attention

Don’t wait for them to come to you with issues, check in on them. This generation likes attention and values regular feedback. With 80% craving constant feedback from a supervisor, a review every six months will not do; you could lose an employee in less than that.


Keep them informed and communicate openly with them. Gen Y grew up collaborating in school and even within their families. They expect you will collaborate with them at work.  They want to feel like they are a real part of the team, not a junior member or someone who will eventually earn higher level clearance. They want to be included from the beginning.


Challenge your Millennials to add to their skills and work toward career growth with you. Give them a fun and flexible environment to work in; they are mobile and can work from anywhere, so the office should be as appealing as their living room, within reason of course.

Remember, Gen Y is motivated by a feeling of accomplishment and an opportunity to do meaningful work. Let them know they are part of something important, and make them feel important.

You need Millennials, and they are looking to you hoping you’re the employer that can meet their unique needs. Are you ready for them; are you ready to make them an offer they can’t refuse?

If you answered “no,” you need to get that way, and quickly. Millennials are looking for jobs, yes, but their optimism is going to keep them from working for you, or for you for long, unless you are just right.

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7 thoughts on “Why your company needs Millennials and how to keep them”

  1. Excellent piece, Shannon! As I continue to age further and further away from that generation, I need to be reminded/informed of what this group is thinking and hoping for. You outlined it all succinctly and clearly…thanks for your insight and writing. Keep up the good work and please continue to stretch us geezers! 🙂

  2. Thanks Brent! Each generation is so interesting, and the more we know about each other, the better we can work and live together. I’ll do my best to keep you informed!

  3. Hi Shannon. We are thinking about dedicating our spring issue to the next generation of parks and rec professionals. I would love to share this piece in our quarterly magazine, of course giving you and XYZ University full credit. Let me know if you would be interested in sharing.

  4. Hi Sonja, that sounds great; we’d love for you to share it. Thanks for your interest. I love the idea of dedicating an issue to the next generation!

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