Retaining Gen Y Talent: 6 Key Tips On How Keep Your Millennial Employees From Leaving

As posted on the MN Headhunter blog:

Author Byline: Lisa Orrell, Millennial & Generation Relations Expert, Author of "Millennials Incorporated"

To many employers, the Millennials (aka: Gen Y) entering our professional work environments are a mystery. And research shows they are certainly a unique generation that has no trouble telling employers what they want, and need, to be happy at work.

Here are 6 effective tips that Boomer and Gen X bosses should consider to effectively retain their valuable Millennial talent:

1. Constant Contact: Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs polled more than 1000 Millennials about what they wanted from an employer, and over 60% of them responded that they wanted to hear from their managers at least once a day. They want to communicate with you often so make it happen or they will leave!

2. Praise Culture: Millennials need praise. If they are not feeling “valued” they will leave. Many well-known companies are shifting to a “praise culture” to retain them…and it improves retention of their Boomer and Gen X employees, too!

3. Rapid Advancement: Millennials feel that having to “pay their dues” is just occupying space for no good reason. If a Millennial employee is truly qualified for a promotion, many companies now offer it, versus giving the position to someone that has simply been at the company longer.

4. Cubicle Shackles: Millennials have a very hard time understanding why they need to be sitting in a cubicle to do their job. With modern technology, they want the flexibility to work anytime, from anywhere, and not have to always sit at their desk to get work done. Many companies are revamping their policies to provide more flexibility, and they’re also using it as a recruiting “perk” to attract Millennials to their workforce.

5. Mentor Programs: This is key! Millennials have grown-up with a lot of guidance from their parents, society, and teachers. And they now expect this type of handholding at work. So, heed this advice! If your company, large or small, doesn’t offer a formal (or informal) mentorship program, create one.

6. Curt Communication: Many Millennials have been raised “respected” by our society and by their parents. The old saying, “A child should be seen and not heard” was eliminated when they were born. They have a very hard time working for managers who possess a curt communication style, and they will not tolerate being spoken to in a disrespectful manner for very long.

For more tips about attracting, recruiting, managing and retaining Millennial talent, and improving your overall Generation Relations, visit this popular blog:

About the Author:

Lisa Orrell is the author of the popular book, “Millennials Incorporated” (on Amazon), and is an in-demand consultant and speaker about Millennials & Generation Relations. She has been a featured expert on MSNBC and in many publications. For more info about Lisa and her speaking topics, visit:

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Views: 106

Comment by Joshua Letourneau on July 7, 2008 at 11:35am
Paul, thanks for the link. I have to ask myself about this (and I certainly don't have the answers . . . ), so I'm just thinking out loud here:

1. Constant Contact - All good managers stay in contact and have at least a finger on the pulse of what's going on, etc. It's tougher to do with a virtual workforce . . . but it's also a fine line to walk because I see many millenials complaining about being "micro-managed' (i.e. "my boss is always bothering me.")

2. Praise Culture - as Lisa mentions, this is good for all generations . . . but not everybody likes a 'pat on the back' in front of everyone else. In the Corps, the saying used to be "public praise, private reprimand." Public reprimand is really what kills morale, but I wonder how public praise fits in? I say that because with public praise, there is always someone who feels left out. Maybe 'public Team praise' is more advantageous?

3. Rapid Advancement - this is another slippery slope here. Many companies set up a 'leadership dev' program to lure entry-levelers in . . . but it's all smoke and mirrors. Here's a study I'd like to see done (meaning with REAL data and a control group) - "How do leadership development programs affect retention among Millenials as an employee population?" I say that because the consensus I run into is that Millenials are leaving anyway (within 3 yrs max.) Why? Well, it's like a 22-yr old guy having a girlfriend. She might be great, but you're too young as a guy to know a good thing when you have it!

4. Cubicle Shackles - wow, I agree here. The issue is permeating a cultural mindshift among the other employee populations! Come to think about it, this could turn out to be a risky proposition in terms of turnover and tech investment. People like to sustain homeostasis . . . so change can be tough sometimes . . .

5. Mentor Programs - as a Headhunter, I find an easy time recruiting out of companies with Mentoring programs. Why? because typically it's only the minority population (or any protected class) that is opted into the program. Furthermore, the program seems to be converged with the LD program . . . meaning Boomers and Gen-X are normally prohibited (unless they're a part of a protected class.)

6. Curt Communication - to get respect, you have to give it. Or as most of us 'old people' were raised, "Respect is earned." For some reason, I see many Millenials demanding respect . . . instead of being willing to pay dues and earn it. Well, it's definitely interesting seeing a workforce of 4 generations (first time in American history) overcome this!


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service