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The “Loyalty Challenge”—Retaining Millennials at the Office

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on February 18, 2016

When it comes to the workplace, millennials rarely stick with one employer for a long period of time. Research has shown that majority of Gen Y employees don’t expect to stay at their current jobs for very long. According to The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, “64% of millennials expect to leave (their current jobs) in the next five years.”

In other words, they lack loyalty to their employers, but why?


As this generation of employees continue to grow as a majority of the US workforce, it’s essential for business leaders to fully-understand their millennial employees and know what makes them tick. You have to get to know how they think and work before you can begin to retain this group of employees.

Getting to Know Your Gen Y Workers

Citing the 2016 Deloitte survey (which covers responses from nearly 8,000 millennials across the globe), here are the recent findings on how today's young employees think and behave within the workforce:

They want more responsibility:

  • “Supporting leadership ambitions builds loyalty (yes really!)”
  • “Being held accountable doesn’t reduce loyalty or satisfaction.”
  • “Strong sense of purpose, inclusiveness, and open communications are higher where employees intend to stay longer.”
  • “Three-quarters of millennials are confident and feel in control of their career paths.”
  • “Those who feel in control appear to be a little more loyal.”

They care about their work:

  • “The values that support long-term business success are people treatment, ethics, and customer focus.”
  • “Personal values have the greatest influence on Millennials’ decision making.”
  • “Millennials would prioritize the sense of purpose around people rather than growth or profit maximization.”
  • “Millennials with a mentor are receiving good advice and feel somebody is interested in their professional development.”

They care about work/life balance:

  • “Pay and financial benefits drive Millennials’ choice of organization more than anything else.”
  • "In most markets, work/life balance comes before career progression when evaluating job opportunities.” (Excluding salary) 
  • “Millennials would like more opportunities to work remotely—and think it will boost productivity.”

How to keep your young talent

It’s simple: if you want to retain your Gen Y talent before they head out the door for the next best offer, you have to learn how to work with them, not against them. Looking at this generation of employees as disposable talent will slowly hurt your business, (in many different areas) with one being the cost of turnover.

Here are some ways business leaders can help keep millennials from leaving their company:

  • Provide a unique work culture that reflects their preferences
  • Let them know their work means something; show them purpose
  • Provide a flexible work-schedule that allows time for work/life balance
  • Offer stability via salary and benefits
  • Encourage individuality within a team environment
  • Give recognition when it’s due
  • Offer encouragement and mentorship, as opposed to giving orders and managing directly upfront

Still having trouble retaining millennials at your company? Get inside the mind of your Gen Y talent by downloading the complimentary eBook below.

hiring millennials

Employee Engagement, Hiring Millennials, Management, Succession Planning, Turnover

James Patrick Kahler

About the Author

James Patrick Kahler is Hireology’s Copywriter & Content Specialist. He is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has over four years of professional experience writing for various industries. Outside of the office (and sometimes inside), he has a passion for comedy, advertising and his Cleveland sports teams…all of them.