How to Attract and Retain Millennial and Gen Z Employees


The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey provided several insights and opportunities for business to both attract and retain employees who fall into the Millennial and Gen Z  generations. If you don’t have time to read the 32 page report (PDF), we’ve got you covered!

GraduationHow does Deloitte define Millennial and Generation Z?

A Millennial is someone who was born between January 1983 and December 1994. Gen Zs were born between January 1995 and December 1999.

All of the Millennials who participated Deloitte’s survey had a first degree or higher-level qualification and were employed full-time. All of the Gen Z respondents were either studying for or had obtained a first/higher degree.

What is are the primary takeaways from Deloitte’s survey?

envrionmentMillennial and Gen Z workers want businesses to:

  1.  Generate jobs and provide employment
  2.  Act ethically and work toward improving society and the environment
  3.  Promote innovation by developing new products and services, and generating new ideas
  4.  Focus on inclusion and diversity


moneyWhere do Millennial and Gen Z workers think business priorities fall instead?

  1.  Generating profit
  2.  Driving efficiencies
  3.  Producing/selling goods and services


Most respondents described how they don’t believe businesses and organizations behave ethically.

They believe companies only want to make money and selfishly want to focus on themselves rather than consider society as a whole.

social justice Young workers are realistic and understand profits are needed for a successful business. However, they believe it is possible for organizations to prioritize profits while also prioritizing job generation, innovation, improving society, and promoting inclusion and diversity.

Young workers want business leaders to be proactive about making a positive contribution society and they want businesses to benefit all of their stakeholders. Stakeholders are not limited to board members or shareholders; they also  include the employees, customers, and the communities in which the businesses operate.

Unfortunately, young workers’ experience is of employers and businesses prioritizing the bottom line ($$$) above workers, society, and the environment.

This leaves young workers with little sense of loyalty.

Among Millennials, almost half plan on leaving their job within two years. Only about a quarter plan on staying beyond five years.


Gen Z respondents expressed even less loyalty, with more than 60% saying they would leave within two years if given the choice.

trust and loyaltyGood pay and positive culture will likely attract both Millennials and Gen Z, but
diversity/inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keeping them happy and with your organization.

Loyalty isn’t a given, it must be earned.

Loyalty is more than just a paycheck. Providing young workers with a sense of purpose, exceptional workplace culture, and professional development opportunities are likely to attract and retain the best talent. One of the benefits of attracting and retaining top talent? Organizations have an opportunity to perform better financially.

How can an organization work to improve loyalty among it’s young workers?

  1. Align prioritiesIncrease pay:
    Although this might seem counter intuitive, it actually is consistent with the ideas that employers should “share the wealth” by enhancing workers’ lives and providing good employment. It also is consistent with workers trying to pay off school debts, afford housing, and save for their future.
  2. Make work more than just a pay check:
    Millennial and Generation Z workers need positive reasons to stay with their employers; more than just a pay check. Not only does a company need to show that by staying loyal to the company the employee will be better off financially, the organization also needs to show that the employee will be more developed as an individual professional compared to if they quit.
  3. Align priorities:
    Companies need to ensure their motivations and priorities are aligned with those of the younger workforce. A focus on profits does not promote loyalty. As described above, Millennial and Gen Z workers want organizations to generate jobs and provide employment, act ethically and work toward improving society and the environment, promote innovation by developing new products and services, and generating new ideas, and focus on inclusion and flexible
  4. Be flexible:
    When an organization offers flexibility for workers, not tying them to strict hours or locations, loyalty can be improved. Young workers appreciate the flexibility and value the trust of their employer.
  5. Provide professional development opportunities:
    The 4th industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) is upon us. Many young workers feel unprepared. Organizations that help their employees adapt and develop to the changing world keep their key players around longer because they show they are invested in their employees. The Deloitte survey authors say, “about 8 in 10 Millennials say that on-the-job training, continuous professional development and formal training led by employers will be important to help them perform their best.”

Connecting the dots photoConnecting the Dots

Young workers in the Millennial generation and Generation Z want business leaders to take a step away from focusing on profits and toward focusing on social concerns that can help solve the world’s problems. Organizations need to be more diverse and inclusive, offer additional flexibility in schedules and work locations, and be nurturing and generous with it’s employees.

Organizations that can achieve the above are more likely to attract and retain the top Millennial and Gen Z talent, which will help set the organization and it’s employees up for long-term success.

Thank you for reading! If you’re looking for ways to increase your organization’s level of employee engagement, especially among your younger workers, please review my services here and contact me here.