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

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: http://blog.generationrelations.com

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: www.TheOrrellGroup.com

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



These points illustrate the love/hate relationship I have with my own generation (and therefore myself) in the work place.

Yes - we are hardworking and like to excel!
No - it sounds like we need handholding.

A trade-off, I suppose. What have other generations had to trade off for success?


I'd like to see more info on how their skills, such an native Internet skills, help balance out their higher maintenance workplace expectations.

James Norton

This post makes a great case for hiring rural kids who still have some form of inherited/trained work ethic and/or waiting another 10 years for the post-recession debut of Generation Able to Suck It Up, who will be able to accomplish simple tasks without constant back-pats and financial rewards.

Ben Foster

Thanks for posting this Paul. I find it interesting how we see so much of "what Gen Y needs" and not as much of "what Gen Y offers" or "how/if companies are buying into what Gen Y needs" and a way to go about articulating it to them.


All the points are dead-on, except for #2. I'm a Gen Yer, and from my own experience and high performing coworkers of the same age, I don't think we need praise. In fact, some of us don't like it. We'd rather be "praised" through being recognized for our work in terms of responsibility, advancement and salary. That being said, I have noticed some who do need praise to get by - they tend to be the lower performing employees, but that's not always true. Basically, my point is that #2 doesn't apply to as many Gen Yers as the other points do.

My company, btw, is doing a Generation Y and Talent webinar next week if you’re interested (Thursday, August 7, 2008@1pm EDT (in the U.S.): https://i4cp.webex.com/i4cp/onstage/g.php?d=333010212&t=a&SourceID=MNHeadhunter

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