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Engaging and Retaining Your Millennial Employees

Engaging and Retaining Your Millennial Employees

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 7, Episode 22
  • Millennials are changing the U.S. workplace. Learn about 4 data points that provide insights into millennials' workplace engagement and retention.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup Workplace Consultant Casandra Fritzsche about how millennials are changing the face of the United States and the workplace, and 4 data points that provide insights into millennials' workplace engagement and retention. Our guest host was Mike McDonald, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup.

Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

The conversation unpacked 4 data points:

  1. 53% of millennials identify as nonwhite.
  2. 71% of millennials who strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for and what makes it different from its competitors plan to stay with their company for at least one year.
  3. 68% of millennials who strongly agree that they have had opportunities at work to learn and grow in the past year plan to be with their organization one year from now.
  4. 32% of millennials strongly agree that they know the strengths of the people they work with regularly.

[5:06] Mike McDonald: Millennials have a strong story to tell us and a lesson to teach us around diversity and inclusion, because that first data point, 53%, represents the fact that 53% of millennials identify as nonwhite.

Now as we think about the evolution of what that number represents, only 15% of our traditionalist generation identified as nonwhite. So all of a sudden, the world and the workplace intersect in a way that looks very different.

But Casandra, help us understand -- what does that actually mean? Why and how does that matter, in your perspective?

Casandra Fritzsche: I love that question. I think if you try to break this down into real life, it means the workplaces are looking different, it means your teams look different. And it also gives you a massive opportunity to better represent the world. I think that's the really exciting thing about being a millennial and being a representation, thinking about all these numbers.

The other thing that I think is represented by this number is the fact that the millennial generation is probably more of a bridge in these numbers than anything else. If you look at Gen Z, the ones that are younger than us, think about what that means for the entire fabric of society in the United States.

How are we going to start working with more and more people to have better-represented workplaces, to have better-represented teams. And I think this is a great opportunity to use strengths to better understand not only the personalities but the needs of our workers, on a day-to-day basis, for retention, for engagement.

[7:10] MM: Where are you seeing that actually matter? In a performance or a team's ability to do things better or differently than they've been able to do them before, as we integrate the reality that 53% are nonwhite, how are differences an advantage in the reality of that shift in population?

CF: Great. I love the phrase, "Differences are advantages." So I'm thinking a lot about millennials and I'm thinking about employee retention is one of the first things. And millennials are really consumers of the global workforce. So when I think about that, I'm thinking about being able to see organizations; I'm thinking about being able to see opportunities.

So one of the cool things about organizations that are responding to this, responding to the fact that our teams need to be more diverse, our teams need to have a more representative makeup -- these are probably really innovative organizations that are attracting top talent. This is also the most highly educated generation.

So organizations that make a conscious effort at not just a piece of paper, check mark, "I'm doing inclusion and diversity because I have to" -- the ones that are actually taking this seriously are probably the organizations that are attracting those top talented millennials.

MM: I just wrote that down, and Jim, I think we have a headline. It just jumped right off the page here. "Millennials are consumers of the global" -- and I even kind of amended it, Cassandra -- "Millennials are consumers of the global workplace and the global marketplace" -- right?

CF: Oh, absolutely.

MM: … and they have to integrate themselves accordingly.

[9:10] MM: So I'm going to repeat that. 71% of millennials who strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for and what makes it different from its competitors plan to stay with their company for at least one year.

Now the contrast of that is that only 26% unfortunately can say they've actually heard somebody talk about how their work connects to mission and purpose. So we have a desire and a need -- a want, perhaps -- that's going unmet in the gap between those two data points.

Casandra, take us inside that conversation. How do we build the bridge there in the mind and space of a millennial, and what does coaching and strengths contribute to that?

CF: Fantastic. I think of this part as the "purpose gap." I think a lot of your millennials -- and we define millennials as those born from 1980 to 1996, so perhaps those of you who weren't originally identifying as millennial, born in 1982, you're part of us now, Welcome! -- but a lot of us who were raised in this generation were the ones who were told to find a career that you care about, find one you have passion for.

And because of that, we're looking for those jobs -- we're looking for jobs that are more than just a paycheck you get on a biweekly, weekly basis. What companies are failing to do is articulate that purpose.

So, really strong companies have a good mission statement -- and not just a statement that's on a website; (instead, it's) a mission statement that I could ask you, Mike, or you, Jim, and you'd both be able to tell me something really powerful.

The real "miss" here is aligning that purpose to the day-to-day roles and responsibilities. So as a company, when you're able to do that, you're probably able to retain more of these employees. We're known as the job-hopping generation, perhaps for a reason. But when you are able to do this type of thing, you're significantly more likely to actually retain these really top talented employees, who are willing to devote a whole lot of their lives to your mission.

Casandra Fritzsche's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Input, Positivity, Futuristic, Strategic and Learner.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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