Will they stay or will they go? Keeping Millennials at your organization

CEOs of the best nonprofits to work for with I love my job coffee mugs

You’ve hired your Millennials. Now how will you keep them at your company?


Millennials are complex creatures. We were raised with all kinds of technology, but we still played with dolls and action figures. We watched a lot of TV, but we still played outside until the streetlights came on. We worked hard, but our parents excessively rewarded us. Our parents, friends, teachers and classmates told us that if we set our mind to it, we could pretty much do anything we wanted, and that we should choose our college paths based on finding a job that made us feel fulfilled.


When I started my first job at an insurance company, I was really inspired to meet people who’d been with the company since the beginning of their careers. But after a few months, I couldn’t continue to include that company in my five-year plan. I was curious about other industries, other companies and other cities. And as I celebrated my three-year anniversary with the company, I knew it was time to move on.


Companies of all shapes and sizes make a lot of common mistakes when it comes to millennials. We’re not easily impressed. We want the whole package: great perks, free travel, exceptional benefits, continuous recognition…and most importantly, free coffee. But here are a few other really important things we look for when deciding whether we’ll stay or go:


Have a plan for career development. We’ve been trained to think about our future, so most millennials are constantly planning their next steps. If you don’t help us figure out our next step with your organization, that next step will likely take us somewhere else.


Offer flexible work schedules. Millennials like to do things on our own time. We’ve got a lot going on – whether we’re freelancing, training for a marathon, travelling to a different city to visit family and friends or simply exhausted from staying up late to watch Monday Night Football, our outside-of-work schedules are always changing. Millennials are hard workers, so don’t worry, the work will get done – we just want to get it done on our own time.


Trust us. We were raised to find jobs with organizations we’re passionate about, but we might not particularly enjoy old-school management styles. We’re pretty flexible when it comes to working with teams, or by ourselves, but the biggest things we crave are recognition and the opportunity to contribute to high-visibility projects. Trust us. We’ll do great things.


This article gives even more great guidelines to make sure your millennials stay put. Be sure to share your additional ideas for keeping millennials in the comments section below!