millennials, work place, communication, motivationMillennials: How to adjust your business for millennial employees

“The millennial generation has arrived. 60% of the workforce are millennials. They are not motivated by money. They want to make a difference.” Charles Day.

The millennial generation is the newest entering the workplace beginning to have an increasing influence in the future. A millennial is someone who was born between 1982 and 2004, ranging from the age 35 to 13. It is important to know what their values are and how you can adjust your business to satisfy a millennial employee, and remain competitive.

This article was inspired by comments made at a joint Hillyer McKeown and JVP event on the Future of HR and covers how millennials communicate, their lifestyle and how your business can benefit from adapting for millennial employees.

What is important for a millennial employee?

Millennials are not typically interested in staying with a business long-term. To help keep hold of millennial employees, according to Unum here’s what they want from an employer:

  • Flexible working – not just working in the office.
  • Development and progression – visions of moving beyond their current role and gaining skills.
  • Holiday and travel – they want to travel so holiday entitlement is really important to them.
  • Lifestyle perks – benefits that really benefit them outside of work.
  • Wellbeing – information on how to manage their work and home life.
  • Constructive feedback – they don’t want an annual appraisal, they want regular feedback.

By satisfying the needs of a millennial seeking employment, it is more likely that you can keep them as an employee. Forbes states that 43% of millennials plan to leave their current job within 2 years, so it is important that as a business you do what you can to endure positive staff retention rates.

Millennial communications

The millennial generation tends to be very tech savvy, often communicating both professionally and personally through new technology.  The most popular mediums they use to communicate are texting, social media, emailing and informal verbal communications. This fresh generation use all the above to communicate with others however, Forbes suggests that they try to avoid formal verbal conversations and speaking over the phone. It is important that to upkeep the levels of communication that your business needs to move with the times and adapt your methods of communicating to suit millennials. So what could your business do differently? For example, instead of having a formal sit-down conversation, send them a message or go and have an informal chat over a coffee.

Why should my business change for millennials?

As mentioned in the HM Breakfast Seminar (more details below), here are just a few reasons why adapting to the millennial mind-set is good for your business:

  • Competitive advantage.
  • Becoming a desirable place to work.
  • Improving current employee’s quality of life.
  • Encourages innovation.
  • Employee engagement.
  • Improving staff retention rates.

All of the above are reasons that as an employer, you can benefit from changing for the millennial generation. Most of these points will lead to growth and success in the future for your business. By becoming a more desirable place to work for millennials you are also increasing their brand awareness of your business; they will know that you are a desirable business to work for.

A millennial work-life balance

By providing a millennial employee with good benefits that they can capitalise on outside of work, you as an employer will be appreciated. The typical 9 to 5 hourly days don’t suit millennials as today you can work from pretty much anywhere. So why should you work in the office when you could be working from home or another place outside the office environment? In a way it does make sense, but will this affect the employee’s quality of work?

It is said that a millennial ‘works to live’, unlike the baby boomers who ‘live to work’. Millennials also believe in the philosophy of working smarter not harder, making lighter work of strenuous tasks.

What can other generations learn from millennials?

Generations before millennials such as generation X and the baby boomers could learn a few things from millennials. As they are so tech savvy, they can teach older employees that are not so comfortable with new technologies. With their creativity they can encourage innovation in the workplace among other employees to push the development of your business. Although there is a lot that older generations can learn from millennials, there is also a great deal that older generations can teach millennials, such as office etiquette (which many believe this generation struggle with).

Joint Hillyer McKeown and JVP breakfast seminar

During a free seminar on HR and recruitment, Justine Watkinson, Partner and Head of Employment law at Hillyer McKeown, mentioned ‘changing perceptions of work through the generations’ and ‘how this change is affecting businesses and HR’.

Given that the millennials are reaching managerial positions, there is some urgency for businesses to understand and keep pace with the change and the impact it will have on businesses.

If you have any questions about employee engagement, employment law or your workforce, please email or call Justine for a free initial conversation.


Hillyer McKeown offered the free breakfast seminar in collaboration with JVP (a recruitment advertising specialist, working with employers across the UK).

To make sure you don’t miss out on the next HM Breakfast Seminar or other key events for your business follow Hillyer McKeown on LinkedIn >