Younger Millennials can be a great asset to your organisation. But do you know how to look after them? Copyright: zinkevych / 123RF Stock Photo











It’s thought that around 75% of the global workforce will be made up of the millennial generation (born roughly between 1980 and 1999) by 2025. That might still seem a long while off yet, but it’s actually less than a decade away, so it could be wise to start thinking about how to look after this generation in your organisation.

There’s a good chance a fair number of this cohort will end up employed in your organisation, and you’ll probably already have many of the generation’s first-born already working there. This population is the first to not know what life was like before the internet and who came of age after the 2008 crash, so their expectations in the workplace are very different than the generations preceding them.

If you’re thinking all you have to do to keep these workers happy is to throw a few beanbags around the place, and offer a few trendy coffees at your canteen, think again. Millennials actually care about a lot of the things other workers do, like engagement, trust and being valued. But they also like to know what a company’s values are before they join and would rather have a great working environment (think a home-from-home) than a big pay packet.

It’s also important to understand how these younger workers feel about personal motivation and recognition. Having someone say thanks for a great job and to feel they’ve made a difference is just as important – if not more than – being promoted. They respond to feedback and like being mentored rather than micro-managed.

Millennial workers also want a good work life balance and won’t necessarily want to follow the traditional ‘start-at-the-bottom and see-how-far-I-can-rise-in-the-company’ structure. They’re far more likely to move on and find somewhere they feel offers them more, so retaining them can be more tricky.

All of these factors link back to engagement. Millennial workers really need to be engaged, both in their everyday role and in how the organisation does things. Leave them out of the loop and you’ll probably lose them.

Get it right though and you can really harness their skills. Millennials have been brought up with technology and feel totally at home using it, so they know how to apply it in the work environment without even thinking about it. They also bring a great energy and enthusiasm to the workplace.

To really engage with millennials and retain them in your organisation, you’ll also need to introduce more-flexible ways of working, allow them to dress down and work from home, as well as more radical steps like unpaid leave if needed.

What they don’t want is to work in an uninspiring, boring place packed with people who only tell you things if you ‘need to know’ and who are only interested in climbing the corporate ladder. What they do want is to work in a place where teamwork, empowerment and being developed are very important.

How do you look after the millennials in your organisation, or are they treated like everyone else?

If you’re a millennial, what do you like in the organisation where you work, and what would you like to see more of?