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We often hear of the different mindset of the millennial generation – born between 1980 and 1996 – in terms of ideals and perspective. The millennials are often seen as more idealistic and more motivated by purpose than a paycheck. This can be a challenge for a CHRO whose job it is to retain a millennial and provide an environment for them to thrive in the workplace.

Let’s look at a few unique workplace characteristics and statistics of the millennial generation:

  • Millennials work best in a collaborative environment where there is a strong connection to a team concept. They want to work in a setting where inclusion is a priority and where everybody works together to advance team goals. Self-identify and promotion is less important as is the team mission and getting there collectively.
  • Millennials have a reputation for job-hopping. Unattached to organizations and institutions, people from this generation are said to move freely from company to company, more so than any other generation.
  • 21% of millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same. Gallup estimates that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.
  • 60% of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity — 15 percentage points higher than the percentage of non-millennial workers who say the same.

Why are millennials so likely to move around? There are many potential reasons, but one could be their low engagement in the workplace. Gallup has found that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, meaning only about 3 in 10 are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company. Another 16% of millennials are actively disengaged, meaning they are likely to do damage to their company in terms of productivity and advancement of a corporate agenda. The majority of millennials (55%) are not engaged, leading all other generations in this category of worker engagement.

While millennials can come across as wanting more and being demanding, the reality is that they just want a job that feels worthwhile — and they will keep looking until they find it. The goal of the CHRO when it comes to retaining this generation is to engage with them often in order to encourage their value to the organization and inspire teamwork and identity.