There is much to think about when trying to attract and retain the right employees for your company. Each of your employees likely came into your company bright-eyed and ready to start a new chapter in their career. At first, everything was exciting, as they were learning something new and meeting different people every day. But, after a while, the excitement wore thin.

It takes continual maintenance and check-ins to keep your employees challenged and loving their jobs—especially for those companies that have expanded their remote workforce. Keep in mind these characteristics of millennials when working with this generation of workers.

Five Characteristics of Millennials in the Workplace

What are Some Characteristics of Millennials?

1. Millennials are technologically savvy and connected.

Make sure that you and your team stay up-to-date technologically and with your social media presence. If you’re using antiquated technologies in your business, millennials need to know that you are moving toward more updated technologies and look forward to having them help contribute to the process of updating technology.

2. Millennials are transparent.

As you interview millennials for a position, you can use social media to find out more about them. This can be a great tool to give insight on how to manage them, what type of person they are and how to help them be successful should you choose to hire them. Because of their level of transparency, it is important that you are transparent about your position and company in the interview process. Be sure to tell them the good and bad details about the position and company.

3. Millennials value straightforward management and recognition.

This generation needs to feel that their job is important and receive recognition for their performance. Many millennials grew up raised by Baby Boomers who offered them constant praise. During the interview process, let them know the position they are interviewing for is important to the organization and will make a valuable contribution. They need to know that their work will be making a difference. Also, lay out a review process so that they know that their performance will be recognized and discussed periodically. When their performance merits praise, recognize them publicly.

4. Millennials desire diverse work and collaboration.

Millennials have grown up constantly multitasking. They are hardwired to have a lot going on at once. Add diversity and additional responsibilities to the position that will allow them to multitask and collaborate with others.

5. Millennials are attracted to positions that offer a work-life balance, flexibility and career advancement.

This generation is not as willing to sacrifice their personal lives to advance their career. Millennials like to “work hard and play hard,” and they appreciate a company that values this balance. They want to know that their hard work will be rewarded and there is the opportunity for career advancement for successful performance. For companies, this means that you need to stress the importance of work-life balance in your organization throughout the interview process.


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Five Characteristics of Millennials in the Workplace

Five Steps to Keeping Your Millennial Employees Challenged and Loving Their Jobs

1. Communicate every chance you get.

Your employees rely on you for encouragement, leadership, and feedback. Communicating openly and often with your employees is crucial, especially during times of transition. You can significantly improve morale by giving your employees consistent chances to communicate with you and with their team members. Schedule regular meetings to give praise, provide leadership direction, and talk through feedback.

An open-door policy is particularly beneficial. Encourage your employees to come to you with anything they need to talk through—ideas, frustrations, questions—so that they feel listened to and seen. Employees who know that you care will feel more connected to your mission and will be more motivated to step up to challenges as they come.

2. Find opportunities to present a challenge.

Employees who aren’t productive may actually just be bored. Monotonous work will not ignite your employees’ passion and, therefore, will not motivate them to help your company reach its goals. Show them that this position is one that will advance their career and teach them more about the industry. To achieve this, you can present your employees with structured or open-ended challenges—depending on their personality—and ask them to find a solution. The ability to take charge and infuse creative problem solving into their everyday work could be just what they need to be more engaged.

3. Encourage career education and development.

Your employees’ new challenges don’t always have to come from you or the team. Make career development opportunities available to your team and encourage them to take advantage. Learning and networking can motivate your employees to take on new responsibilities or share their knowledge with their coworkers. For a little extra challenge, ask them to present the information they learned to the company or their team.

4. Show your appreciation.

Employee appreciation can go a long way in morale. In fact, in a recent survey, 71% of employees say that they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. You can show that you appreciate your employees with small (or large) gestures such as gifts on birthdays and holidays or celebrating important milestones. Verbal appreciation and giving “shout outs” on your team meeting calls can also make your employees feel seen and valued. Think outside of the box and get creative!

5. Set the tone from the top.

The phrase “tone from the top” has become a cliché, but it’s an excellent guide. Leaders who lead by example show their employees that they believe in what they say. You have a great deal of influence in the way that your employees view your company’s culture. Your actions speak volumes about the business’ core values—more so than a poster with a list of its core values in the conference room.

Do you worry that your employee satisfaction will suffer as your company expands?

A PEO partnership can help you attract and retain talent as your company scales.

Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) benefit businesses of any size from a team of five to more than 5,000.

Learn more about how a PEO can help your business attract and retain talent.