How to get the best out of Millennials at work

news article

Jul 27 2016

With young people set to make up some 50 per cent of the workforce by 2020, and estimated to account for up to 75 per cent by 2025, an increasing number of companies are realising that future successes could well depend on their willingness to adapt current practices and manage workplace expectations.

Dubbed ‘Millennials,’ this sector of the workforce is widely defined as being born between 1980 and the year 2000, and so serves to represent a huge cross-section of workers across the UK aged between sixteen and thirty-six. With this group set to dominate the workplace environment, many HR professionals are implementing and adapting strategies to ensure that they cater for this crucial demographic.

Whilst in reality there are strong parallels between what millennials and their preceding generations want from a career; including security, variety, loyalty and challenging work; they also tend to have their own, unique set of beliefs and expectations. With the majority well educated, self-confident, energetic and skilled in technology, they set high expectations for themselves and often prefer to work collaboratively on important projects. Millennials seek challenges outside of their workplace comfort zone, yet their work/life balance remains of the utmost importance to them. It is holding fresh and innovative values such as these that will enable millennials to radically redefine the workplace in years to come.

With all this in mind, many HR professionals are asking themselves how to implement and measure the best strategies in order to effectively engage their millennial staff and prospective employees. Keeping an awareness of their key principles and beliefs is one way to ensure businesses align their values with those of millennials:

Social Impact

According to a Business Insider article, 63 per cent of surveyed millennials say that they expect their employers to contribute towards or support a social cause. Social consciousness is an important attribute for many businesses in this respect, and many HR professionals find that their millennial staff are more likely to stay engaged at work if their business has a strong CSR identity that is effectively communicated.

Recognition and Feedback

Millennials often expect frequent communication and feedback from managers, and can quickly become disengaged from their role and the company itself if this does not prove to be forthcoming. They often seek out feedback as a way of growing within their role and ensuring that their work is valuable to the wider team and company. Employee recognition in any shape or form is therefore of significant importance.

Career Development

With the average millennial employee often spending less than two years in a role, career advancement is therefore key to employee retention. A generation unafraid of moving on if they feel they are not advancing up the career ladder fast enough, millennials tend to also quickly disengage if they feel that their work isn’t providing wider value within the working environment.

Managers can aim to keep millennials motivated by providing as many training opportunities as possible, as well as stressing all available avenues for advancement.


Many companies often fail to take into account that millennials represent the first generation of digital natives – technically literate, the need to be tied into a nine to five office-based schedule can often feel dated and out of touch to their way of thinking. When drafting flexible working policies, HR managers may find that they generate more productivity from employees if they can allow the freedom to work remotely or from home whenever possible, and that creating a casual office environment that encourages and promotes team working can go a long way towards improving overall engagement levels.

A great way to ensure that talent management and retention remains at the forefront of your wider HR strategy is to implement flexible, configurable HR and payroll software within your department, effectively removing administrative burdens whilst strengthening and supporting your employee retention goals. Our software, for example, can increase the effectiveness and frequency of employee reviews, appraisals and training outcomes, with Talent Management software that seamlessly integrates with our core HR system.

If you’re thinking of investing in the right tools to enhance your employee engagement levels whilst simultaneously advancing your business’s bottom line, then why not book a free demo?


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