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February 2020

Meeting Millennial employee priorities

It’s my belief that their increased likelihood of leaving a job isn’t necessarily a byproduct of generational angst.

More often, I find that the cause is actually a mismatch between the employer’s and employee’s definitions of what makes a rewarding work culture.

Simply put, the things that motivated Gen X and the Boomers before them don’t really resonate with Millennials. Research shows that millennials are more focused on leadership opportunities, mentoring and the opportunity to help others succeed. 

They reserve their loyalty for employers who share their values—and those values are expressed via company culture.

You can’t buy love
The emergence of the Millennial workforce—all 80 million of them—has changed the definition of work satisfaction itself. Salary isn’t the magic recruitment and retention bullet it used to be; in our increasingly portable and flexible labor market, it’s just not a priority any more. Think about it: could you hire away a Google employee just by beating his or her salary? Probably not.

Culture is what builds Millennial loyalty, not dollars. And depending on your industry, size and market, figuring out what your ideal culture looks like can be challenging.

Learn the Millennial mindset
Millennials have incredible potential, energy and drive, but they can be tricky to figure out—even if you are a Millennial yourself. And like the individuals that make up the generation, no two companies—or their solutions—are exactly alike. 

Getting to know your Millennials’ mindset—learning what they care about, and providing the positive feedback, mentoring and advancement that matters to them—takes expertise and insight, delivered with a personal touch. Surveys and measurement are the most direct way to connect these dots; with this information, you can build a culture that engages Millennial priorities, increases their satisfaction and helps ensure retention. That’s why it’s important to create culture maps and calendars designed to leverage Millennial strengths.

Millennials are a different kind of employee; there’s no doubt about that. But with the right culture in place, they can surprise you with energy and enthusiasm.