Get the most from your Millennial workforce

Much has been written about the challenges my generation, millennials (ages 20–34), pose to organizations. Some say we have, what my elementary school principal dubbed, “inflated self-worth.” Some say we feel entitled. Some say we have the attention span of a fly. Regardless of the validity of these viewpoints, one thing is certain: Very soon we will be in leadership positions. Organizations need millennials to step up to the challenge, and millennials need organizations to engage them.

A major frustration organizations experience with millennials is our transient nature. Millennials are projected to have 15-20 jobs in their lifetime. Consequently, organizations are trying to figure out how to keep their young talent from job-hopping by investing in perks, programs, and facilities meant to retain and engage them.

Surprising Findings

For my master’s degree research, I investigated how millennials want their employers to engage them, and the findings surprised me. Of the nearly 100 research subjects surveyed, not one wanted a workplace gym, a cafeteria keg, a puppy beneath their desk, or the ability to telecommute. Surely, those perks are alluring, but what keeps these millennials engaged and committed to their employers is actually much easier for organizations to deliver.

Want one-on-one time with superiors

We want meaningful face-to-face time with those who came before us. Whether through mentorship, weekly one-on-one check-ins, or having coffee together; we want to forge meaningful relationship with our managers, supervisors and leaders.