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Want to Engage and Retain Millennials? Do This

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Deloitte study found that 43 percent of Millennials surveyed plan to leave their jobs within two years. What’s driving them to exit? A lack of commitment to diversity, inclusion, and flexible work arrangements. Not surprising, the survey found that pay is a key recruiting tool, but it’s not enough to retain these workers.

Why is it so important to have your finger on the pulse of Millennials’ needs? Because by 2020, they will make up 50 percent of the workforce. Yes, that’s right, 50 percent.

Although you may want to pretend that retention is not an issue, it is. What’s more, the better your organization prepares, the better it will fare. Let’s face it, turnover is expensive and time consuming, and unless you have a problem employee on your hands, undesirable.

What are some ways you can show employees that you are committed to diversity, inclusion, and flexible work arrangements?


  • People tend to hire people just like themselves. Conduct bias training for managers, and encourage them to hire people who have differing backgrounds, education, experiences, cultures, and so forth.
  • Balance out your leadership ranks (executives, VPs, and directors) with an equal number of men and women.


  • Rather than assigning tasks or projects to star employees, ask: “Who is interested in taking on this initiative?” Give everyone the opportunity to express interest and volunteer.
  • Implement a monthly focus group and invite all employees to participate. Address something that needs to be improved, fix the issue, and communicate the results to the organization.

Flexible Work Arrangements

  • Develop flexible work arrangements guidelines, where employees can work from any location several days a week (business needs permitting, of course). Where possible, enable employees to work flexible hours and do not dictate operating hours.
  • Create a “Flexible Fridays” option, where employees are encouraged to spend Friday afternoon focusing on anything creative in the workplace that they are passionate about.

What Can You Do?

It’s no secret that currently it’s an employees’ job market. If your workplace culture does not meet Millennials needs, don’t be surprised if they leave even—if they do not have a job lined up.

However, it does not have to come to this. Step-up your commitment in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and flexible work arrangements, and communicate the changes to employees. When you do, employees will take their eye off the door and put it back where it belongs—on your customers’ needs.

Want to learn more? Join me August 16-17, 2018, for LearnNow: Employee Engagement From A to Z. We will take a deep dive into what truly drives engagement and what you can do to positively affect it through your talent development efforts. You’ll collaborate in real time with your classmates via interactive group discussions, polls, and brainstorming sessions, and leave with a strategy tailored to your organization to improve your culture and drive higher levels of engagement.

About the Author

With three decades of consulting, speaking, and in-the-trenches global Fortune 500 executive-level experience, Jill’s view is radically different. She shares with listeners that although HR “owns” culture change, they do not own culture change. Employees will not re-engage unless senior leaders and managers fundamentally change the way they lead the company and their teams. Jill is founder and president of Jill Christensen International, and has served as the head of global internal communications at both Avaya and Western Union. She is a bestselling author and international keynote speaker, holds a Six Sigma Green Belt, and was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer for 2017. She works with the best and brightest leaders around the world to re-engage employees, improving productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Her clients include AT&T, Nokia, ARROW, Crocs, Novartis, TIAA, ACT, and numerous U.S. cities and nonprofit organizations.

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