5 Keys to working with Millennials

Millennials - Keys to Success

Millennials want to feel that the company they work for values their opinions, time, effort, and energy. Simply performing menial tasks for a paycheck and dealing with the corporate status quo that has been cemented generations before them, will only lead to attrition. Attracting and maintaining quality employees in this generation will rely on how to motivate them to stay.

Working with Millennials boil down to 5 crucial points to remember:

  • Stop trying to “Engage” them.“Engage” is really an annoying word and is not the issue that needs to be solved. Obviously, if they applied for the position they want to keep their jobs, so that means they need to do the work, at least to obtain the paycheck they need to fund their weekend trip. The key to Millennials staying happy is to maintain a positive environment in the workplace. Being miserable at work might be something older generations are willing to accept as a cost of a paycheck, but this doesn’t apply to Millennials.
  • Encourage them to developGive them time to learn the ropes, people all learn at different paces, and most of Millennials prefer to learn at self-paced intervals. All this corporate training where they are forced to sit through a lecture, they just finished doing that in college, and guess what? They hated it then too! Develop a mobile platform for self-guided training to allow them both to get the training desired by the company, but to allow for time to break from the material if needed.
  • Allow us some rope to solve problems“Why exactly does it have to be done that way?” It’s a simple question, which if given time and reasoning could lead to new process design and potential money savings for the company. Obviously, if the employee was hired they met the qualifications for the job they are being asked to accomplish. Leave time for them to try alternate routes to accomplish goals, and if their way doesn’t work, to finish the task as assigned. Learning through trial and error can be beneficial to both the employee and the company.
  • Make work challenging or competitiveMillennials grew up in the age of Video games and the internet. Facts that some in older generations probably don’t think about. Make work competitive and enticing to this generation. Providing metrics to track their progress and compare among their work group will encourage them to perform purely for the sake of competing, especially when the work tasks are mundane and tedious. A rule of thumb here is if the boss hates it, they REALLY hate it.
  • Have flexibility when available


What is the corporate culture like at the company they are working? Is there an onus placed on happiness and satisfaction, balancing the personal life of the employee to the expectations of the employee? That is what drives this age group, having the ability to have flex schedules, work from home, pursue educational goals, and engage with senior management on moving the company into the future. Being flexible with this group will do wonders for attracting new talent coming out of college.


Whether companies see it or not, Millennials are crucial to filling and back filling positions that come available as time moves on. Understand what drives them will allow for corporate culture to thrive as the talent pool gets younger over time. As a side note, just know that if Generation Y is causing a lot of headaches in Corporate America, Generation Z (1996 – future) is right behind them. This will be a big part of Generation Y’s issue to solve.

See why Traditional Corporate America is in trouble article here.