• Millennials and Gen Z are transforming the workplace landscape with distinct characteristics and expectations.
  • Organizations must create an environment supporting these generations’ desires for a strong sense of purpose, professional growth opportunities, and an aligned workplace culture.
  • Investing in professional development opportunities, embracing ESG practices focusing on diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI), offering competitive salaries & benefits packages, providing work flexibility, leveraging technology and innovation, and implementing coaching & mentoring programs are key factors for retaining & developing Gen Z & Millennial employees.

As the business landscape shifts to meet the needs of a mobile and tech-savvy workforce, retaining young talent has become essential for any organization looking to drive growth. 

By 2025, millennials are expected to make up the majority of the global workforce, projected at 75%.  Following closely behind, Gen Z will also have a significant impact. 

Together, the combined influence of these two generations will significantly transform the workplace landscape.

The only problem: the younger generations have different priorities and expectations than previous ones, and organizations must adapt to retain and develop young talent.

Besides offering competitive salaries and benefits packages, companies must find creative ways to ensure that today’s future leaders stay engaged and inspired in their roles. 

This blog post will discuss the key factors behind retaining and developing young talent and how organizations can leverage them to drive business success.

Who is a Millennial? And who belongs to Gen Z?

Millennials are born between 1981 and 1996, while Gen Z refers to those born between 1997 and 2012. 

Although these generations are often grouped, they have distinct characteristics and expectations.

Millennials grew up during the rise of technology, while Gen Z is considered the first “digital-native” generation. 

This means they are comfortable using technology in all aspects of their lives and expect a seamless integration between their personal and professional lives.

The Way to Work survey by Adecco Staffing further explains the distinctions between the two in a professional setting.

  • 21% of Gen Zers expressed greater concern about the cost of education than 13% of Millennials.
  • While Millennials value stability (34%), Gen Z strongly emphasizes pursuing their dream job (32%).
  • Regarding influence, a higher proportion of Gen Zers (42%) follow their parents’ lead than their Millennial counterparts (36%).

While these differences may seem minor, they significantly impact how each generation perceives their work-life balance and career goals. 

Organizations must recognize these and adapt to retain and develop young talent effectively.

Key Factor in Retaining and Developing Gen Z and Millennial Employees

While past generations may have been content with job security and a steady paycheck, younger employees are looking for something more.

They crave a strong sense of purpose in their work, opportunities for professional growth, and a workplace culture that aligns with their values.

To keep Gen Z and Millennial employees engaged and motivated, employers must create a work environment supporting these desires.

With this understanding, companies can attract and retain the best talent, ultimately leading to long-term success and growth.

Here are the key factors behind retaining and developing young talent:

1. Professional Development Opportunities

Investing in professional development opportunities can be a game-changer for individuals looking to climb the career ladder or stay current in a constantly evolving workforce.

According to a Gallup report, 87% of millennials consider “professional or career growth and development opportunities” crucial when evaluating a job.

Similarly, Monster’s 2023 State of the Graduate report discovered that 54% of new graduates would decline a company that fails to provide avenues for career advancement—a significant rise of 33% compared to the previous year.

If organizations want to retain young talent, they need to prioritize and invest in employee development.

This could include offering mentorship programs, access to online learning platforms, or providing opportunities for cross-functional training.

There are great software out there like Coursera, Udemy or LinkedIn Learning that offer a wide range of courses and certifications to help employees upskill and stay relevant in their field.

In addition, companies can also provide clear career progression paths and offer opportunities for leadership roles to keep young employees engaged and motivated.

2. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Practices

As social issues take center stage globally, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices have gained significant prominence in business.

Embracing ESG practices is one of the most effective ways to reshape a business, especially given their importance to Millennials and Gen Z as employees and consumers.

Within the ESG practices, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace stand as a crucial category.

Leaders should prioritize the implementation of effective DEI training programs and initiatives that foster respect, diversity of thought, and recognition among team members.

Companies that prioritize environment and culture over profits can reap the following benefits:

  • Experience greater brand awareness
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Achieve top and bottom-line growth
  • Enhance trust and respect within the community
  • Appeal to investors

Companies that demonstrate their commitment through ESG practices are better positioned for long-term success in the workplace and appeal greater to younger generations.

Related: Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is Essential for Business Growth

3. Competitive Salaries and Benefits Packages 

A majority of Filipino millennials (58%) and Gen Zs (59%) acknowledge that they live paycheck to paycheck and have concerns about meeting their expenses.

With the rising cost of living, young employees are looking for competitive salaries and attractive benefits. 

In a recent poll by career platform Muse, around half of Gen Zers preferred a salary that exceeds the market rate by 20% or more in exchange for full-time office work.

In addition, most Gen Zers (73%) and Millennials (74%) anticipate an annual salary increase as a prerequisite for their loyalty to their current employer.

These statistics highlight the significance of offering competitive compensation packages to attract and retain young talent.

Offering benefits such as medical, dental, and vision insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off can also go a long way in keeping your employees happy and motivated. 

Related: Pay Rises for Flight Risk Employees: Why It Matters to Companies

4. Work Flexibility

According to the 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey conducted by Deloitte Global, Filipino Gen Zers (70%) and Millennials (63%) reported experiencing burnout due to heavy workloads.

Additionally, 58% of them mentioned that many of their colleagues have recently resigned from their positions due to work-related stress.

These findings highlight the pressing issue of work burnout and its impact on the younger workforce in the Philippines.

Organizations need to consider offering flexible work options such as remote work or flexible hours if they want to retain young talent.

This provides a better work-life balance and shows the company’s understanding and support for employees’ well-being.

Moreover, with advancements in technology and the rise of hybrid workplaces, offering flexible work options has become easier than ever before.

Related: Hybrid Work is Here to Stay: What It Means for Businesses in 2023

5. Technology and Innovation

The younger generation is highly tech-savvy and always on the lookout for innovative solutions that can make their work easier and more efficient.

According to a PWC report, over 59% of millennials consider an employer’s offering of state-of-the-art technology as an important factor when evaluating job opportunities.

Similarly, 91% of Gen Zers believe that technology can significantly impact their job choice.

Organizations that invest in technology and innovation improve productivity and attract and retain young talent.

Companies can demonstrate their commitment to staying ahead of the curve and embracing the digital revolution by providing access to cutting-edge tools, software, and equipment.

This, in turn, can make them more appealing to younger workers who are looking for a dynamic and innovative work environment.

6. Coaching and Mentoring

Young employees value development and growth opportunities, making coaching and mentoring programs highly desirable.

These programs allow for one-on-one learning experiences with experienced professionals, helping young employees develop new skills, gain valuable insights, and build their networks.

In addition, having a mentor or coach can provide guidance and support in navigating the workplace culture and dynamics, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention.

Approximately 21% of Gen Zers want a supervisor to possess strong mentoring skills.

By investing in coaching and mentoring programs, organizations can attract young talent and foster their growth and development within the company.

Conclusion

Creating a positive work environment for Gen Z and Millennial employees is key to retaining them and developing their skills. 

Offering growth opportunities, competitive salaries, flexible work options, technology and innovation, and coaching and mentoring programs can go a long way.

Providing these basics demonstrates that employers value the unique perspectives of younger generations while encouraging a supportive workplace culture. 

In addition, all of these strategies taken together are essential to ensuring Gen Z and Millennial employees are engaged, productive, motivated, and inspired in their work. 

If you’re an employer looking to attract and retain young talent, Curran Daly & Associates is here to help.

We understand the unique needs and values of Gen Z and Millennial workers, and we are committed to assisting you in building a workplace culture that resonates with them. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you. 

Let’s work together to cultivate a future-ready workforce.

References:

  • Timmes, M. (2022, June 27). Millennials And Gen Z: Now Is The Time To Reshape Businesses To Harness Their Power. Forbes. Retrieved on October 2, 2023 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2022/06/27/millennials-and-gen-z-now-is-the-time-to-reshape-businesses-to-harness-their-power/?sh=4409185f5c98
  • Indeed Editorial Team. (2022, June 25). A Guide to Retaining Talent and Why It Matters (With Tips). Indeed. Retrieved on October 3, 2023 from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/retaining-talent
  • Henderson, R. (2022, April 26). With Gen-Z And Millennial Expectations Shifting, Is Nurturing Happy Employees The Latest HR Mandate?. Forbes. Retrieved on October 3, 2023 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccahenderson/2022/04/26/with-gen-z-and-millennial-expectations-shifting-is-nurturing-happy-employees-the-latest-hr-mandate/?sh=c057283151b9
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