3 Ways to Prevent Regrettable Turnover in your Millennial Employees


The top reasons employees stay and how millennials are most at risk of regrettable turnover. Lisa Sterling of Ceridian, goes on to detail the three areas organizations need to focus on to keep their Millennial employees engaged, loyal and committed.

Today’s modern workforce is dynamic, competitive, and ever-changing. Staying with one company for several years let alone decades is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Millennials are known to change jobs and move companies frequently in search of everything from deeper meaning to greater flexibility, to better compensation. This makes frequent turnover an ongoing reality and employee retentionOpens a new window becomes a top priority for organizations everywhere.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics*, millennial employees’ (aged 25 – 34) had a median job tenure at just under three years, as compared to ten or more years for older employees (aged 55-64). And while a dynamic and changing job market has become the new normal for the younger generation, for organizations, a frequent movement is becoming more disruptive, challenging, and ultimately expensive, as millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.

Ceridian’s latest 2018 Pulse of TalentOpens a new window ** research report explores key retention factors throughout the employee lifecycle. Reasons respondents cited for remaining in their current positions were benefits (30%), just ahead of pay (29%), their relationships with colleagues (28%), and job security (27%).

An organization’s ability to attract, motivate and retain their workforce is clearly highly dependent on their ability to fairly and competitively compensate and reward their employees.  

Still, what is it beyond total compensation that is going to keep millennials from switching jobs so frequently?

As HR leaders, here are three areas we need to focus on to retain millennial employees while also keeping them engaged, loyal and committed.

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Clear Values

Younger generations want to feel their work is aligned with their values providing them with a sense of purpose. Company missions, values, and brand promises should go beyond the employee orientation booklet and come to life in a way that is natural and fundamental to the workplace culture, experiences, and environment.

The best place to start when showing your people you are living your values is with total transparency. Millennials evolved with social media and they expect swift and clear responses and are very action-oriented as a result. For example, if you say charity and community work is a core value then allow your people time off to go out and volunteer. If you talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion then make sure your leaders reflect the society we live in and find unique and authentic ways to celebrate difference.

Flexibility First

Many millennials are parents of young children and some may also be the children of aging parents, so clearly, flexibility is always going to be top-of-mind for them. Most workplaces have realized this, but to really be appealing to top talent you need to live and breathe a flexible culture of trust. It is important to offer actual programs like open vacation policies, flexible start and finish times or part-time virtual work to make sure the flexibility actually makes life better and easier for your people.

Make sure to also consider your environment. Millennials tend to respond well to open workspaces that are collaborative, fun and engaging. At the same time, the ability to collaborate should be replicated virtually. Millennials grew up with rapidly changing technology and will expect an organization to provide the latest tech necessary to stay connected with their teams, whether in the office or from home, without compromising their ability to produce quality work.

Meaningful Rewards

We already know that salary, stability, and total compensation are the core reasons anyone, including millennials, will either leave their current job or seek out a new one. Beyond these fundamentals, you need to provide meaningful rewards that have a real impact on engagement.

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These rewards should be such that they help ease personal financial burdens and can include paying for cell phones, offering fitness memberships, or providing parking and transit subsidies. These rewards are not only popular, but they extend the total compensation package in a specific and practical way.

Continuous learning is another often-overlooked area where you can add tremendous value. Millennials are often lifelong learners who place a high value on career development and will gladly enhance their skillset given the opportunity. But courses or seminars at top institutions are often very pricey or require a few days off from work, creating a roadblock for some. A financial allowance for education and time off to complete courses means giving your people options and options make it far less likely they will start wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere. Organizations need to also consider non-traditional learning. Sponsorship from another leader, involvement in a highly visible project to peer to peer learnings can provide greater education and experience than costly training, seminars or courses.

Loyalty, satisfaction, and engagement will always fluctuate but living your values, putting flexibility first, and providing meaningful rewards will go a long way toward preventing regrettable turnover among your millennial employees.

Learn More: How to Create a Culture of Digital Transformation: An Interview with Lisa Sterling of CeridianOpens a new window