Getting Millennials to Stick

Getting Millennials to Stick can feel like trying to keep the attention of a 3-year-old. “I’m bored, let play something else,” said the 3-year-old. “I’m bored, I’m going to work somewhere else,” said the 23-year-old.

Today we have an ever-increasing number of devices by which we can communicate. Yet our communication skills and our ability to truly connect appear to be disappearing faster than the polar ice caps.

Could there be a connection between “extreme screen time” and the fact that the younger end of generation X and now generation Y, (the millennials) seem to change jobs almost as often as they change underwear?

According to a 2013 Gallop Research poll, 70+% of employees are actively disengaged. This suggests to me that many of today’s worker are sitting at their workstations and behaving much like the three-year-old I referred to earlier.

Today’s organizations are deeply perplexed about how to attract Top Millennial Talent and then getting Millennial’s to stick. Finding them is one thing, keeping them is entirely another. What worked for the previous generations, (Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers) just doesn’t work on Gen Y’s (Millennials).

When Boomers and X’ers entered the workforce they were looking for a steady and upwardly mobil career, that doesn’t even cross the mind of a Millennial.

Millennials are looking for completely different things, things they are looking to get and get fast. Therefore, Millennial employees how no intention of staying with you for any longer than they need too, no matter how great the package is that you offer.

Changing Work Force

As an executive, you know; the days when companies could hire someone expect to have them come on board with your organization for a 20, 30, 40 year career have vanished.

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years. That being said, the work force itself is changing. Many baby boomer have reached retirement age; the rest are at least on the brink of it. The Generation X work force was smaller and there are fewer of them in the workforce too.

The new workforce is the Millennials (people born between 1977–1997) and 91% of them expect their tenure to be between 1.2 and 2 years. Many studies show that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 to 2 times their annual salary.

The critical question becomes: How Do We Get Top millennial Talent to Stick? In previous articles I have gone through many of the key criteria. However, here I wish to bring to your attention two significant foundational element for engaging top Millennial talent and getting them to stick.

Many bosses today believe that Millennials are entitled. However, I would like offer you the opportunity to shift perspective on this issue: When we think of entitlement we might think of someone who thinks they should have something without having earned it. It seems to me that the Boomer and Gen X’er issue is with the idea of “earned it”. We used to say; s/he needs to pay their dues.

News flash: Millennials have a completely different criteria for “dues”.

As a highly successful twenty-three year old Millennial I interviewed said: “look we respect your experience, but the truth is a lot of what you spent years learning we can learn on YouTube in 10 minutes.”

Therefore, the first of the two foundational elements (we are discussing here) needed to first attract and then getting Millennial’s to stick:

Respect that they learn differently and faster that you did. Secondly…

♦ Meaningful Work! Generally speaking; Millennials believe, (feel entitled) to be doing meaningful, purpose-driven work, in fact it is critical if you want to keep them around.

There is real staying power for Millennials when they feel deeply connected to “this is why I, and we are here”. Simply put: Your organization must actually know it “purpose” and just as importantly, be integral to it. This must be demonstrated not only in the way you do business but in every aspect of your corporate culture. If not your top Millennial Talent will not stick, in fact, they will ditch you (and your organization) faster than a blind date with body odor.

You can see a video of a fabulous interview I did with 3 top Millennials who are doing extraordinary things on my podcast page:

Millennial’s Leading the way!

I trust that you found this article valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments.

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Dov Baron is first and foremost “The Dragonist”. As The Dragonist, he teaches us how to recognize, find, retain and nurture dragons (top talent) hidden within our organizations.

Want to learn more about what Dov has to offer, and how you too can become a Dragonist in your realm? If you and your leadership team are dedicated to getting the result you set out to achieve in the most meaningful manner, bring Dov in to speak to your organization about the strategic advantages of Dragon Leadership.Go here to get started.

With gratitude,
Dov Baron…

Copyright: Dov Baron International 2020

Inc Magazine Top 100 Leadership Speaker, Top30 Global Leadership Guru, Inc #1 Podcast for Fortune 500 Executives, The Worlds Leading Meaning Authority