5 Secret Recipe Ingredients for Retaining Millennials

by Laura Belyea, COO at Talivest

By 2025, 75% of the entire workforce will be millennials.


With a very different approach to work and an average tenure of two years, engaging and retaining this generation is a challenge.

While the cost of employee turnover is very high, most organizations lack a formal strategy to retain millennials and Generation Z.

Here are 5 secret recipe ingredients to help engage and retain millennials.

1. Start with Great Onboarding
A well-designed onboarding programme is key to engaging and retaining these generations. Set clear expectations during the hiring process about what your new employee can expect from their role.
Does your onboarding start pre-employment? If it doesn’t, consider including your new employee in a programme, project, event, coffee meet-up or outing to foster a sense of team belonging.
Focus on what matters to millennials and Generation Z: company values and mission; career and personal development and mentoring.

2. Demand Excellence in Managers
Make sure to provide training, coaching and feedback, especially to front line managers, who are one of the biggest influences on retention.
Have you trained your people managers on how to engage the different generations? If not, it’s time to invest in their development so that they can successfully manage a multi-generational workforce.
For your millennial managers, ensure you enable them to make the transition from individual contributor to People Manager.

3. Focus on the Big Picture
The operational aspects of a role are important, but what will really help engage millennials is focussing on the company vision.
Introduce the company’s values, culture, goals and strategy early and ensure your employee’s goals align with that big picture.
Empower your employees by making them “part of the engine, not a cog in the wheel.” This is key for millennials as they want to feel they have a purpose and an impact on the bigger picture. They want to share wins, losses and feel part of a greater purpose.

4. Give and Seek Regular Feedback
Have you got a feedback culture in place? If not, consider how a performance management model can incorporate continuous feedback for millennials.
Millennials and Generation Z appreciate and feel empowered by timely and regular feedback. If you’re leaving feedback until the mid-year or annual review, it’s too late.
Tandem HR Solutions says that organizations need to move away from “outdated performance management practices” and that regular, clear, helpful feedback is a necessity between managers and teams.

5. Start with Why
Millennials are leaving companies quicker than previous generations. It’s important to build a retention strategy that asks why they’re leaving and what can be done differently.
The exit interview, for example, would be best focussed on why they’re leaving your organisation rather than what attracted them to their new company.
This will give you meaningful insights and trends to feed back into the organisation to help reduce employee turnover.

About the author
Laura’s role is to successfully support the growth and strategy for Talivest, as well as provide product support with her expertise within the HR industry. Previously posts were director of HR & operations in Telefonica, Elizabeth Arden and ICON