Pamper your millennials

So you want to retain the best and the brightest millennial talent? How can you do that? Pamper them, duh! Throw things like stacks of money, bring your pet to work, unlimited snacks, nap rooms, and tequila shots at them. They will want to work for you and stay there forever!!!

drinking at work

Now that I have your attention lets address some misconceptions. You don’t have to do a bunch of flashy things to get your millennials to like you. It can be much simpler than that.

I was recently in a planning meeting for an upcoming event in our area and the committee was making a list of key young professionals to invite. This is an event where top employers will have access to who we invite and plenty of networking time to take advantage of. Someone made the comment “how do we make sure that other companies don’t recruit our good millennials” Without skipping a beat I said “we don’t have anything to worry about if we are taking care of them.” The response to that comment was “throw a bunch of money at them,” accompanied by an unsettling wink.

Here’s my millennial + HR perspective on this solution. No. Millennials don’t need more money, well most of us could use more money, but that’s not solving our problems. For example, say you have a millennial that has a very specific career path carved out for herself and wants to sit down with you and talk about how to execute the appropriate steps for said career path. Throwing money at her will not solve that problem. What if you have a millennial who wants to have an opportunity to attend training that will help him in his field, but he’s not sure you will pay for it. What happens when a recruiter calls the young lady and happens to hit her pain point by promising to sit down and negotiate the desired career path and steps to support it? What happens when you have a recruiter call the young man and guarantee that he is going to get a set training budget to use every year for conferences like the one he wants to attend. They are going to add some cash to their current salaries, but they are fixing current pain points for your young professionals. This can be true of anyone at your company, not just the young folks.

Is it because you aren’t giving any constructive criticism or because Millennials are terrible people? 

Those millennials aren’t taking those phone calls because they are ungrateful, they are taking those phone calls because you’ve ignored their requests to solve these issues internally. Money won’t guarantee a young professional will stay at your organization anymore than any other one thing will. I’m sorry there isn’t a one size fits all answer like you may have been led to believe. Get to know your workforce, not pamper them. Find out what they need, find out what motivates them, listen, give them honest feedback. Don’t treat them any different than you treat the other generations. At the end of the day every generation needs to get their work done-no excuses! Are you treating your millennials different than your other generations?

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Conversations about Millennials are around every corner, even after all these years that we’ve been in the workforce. Want to continue the conversation? Check out a couple of upcoming events in the Huntsville area: 

Rocket City YP Summit

Night of the Living Millennials 


Author: Kristina H. Minyard, SHRM-CP, PHR

My goal is to challenge the way we view, measure, and utilize HR and recruiting in a positive and encouraging way. I love working in HR and value the network of HR professionals that I also call friends. I'm always learning from my fellow HR pros and find comfort in their expertise. I'm an active member of my local SHRM chapter (NASHRM) and a total HR enthusiast! My HR related knowledge is a mix of recruiting, retaining, engaging and just plain helping people discover their passion. I'm a follower of Christ, Wife, Mom, Corporate Recruiter, Blogger, problem solver, runner, Sports FANATIC & Razorback surviving amongst the [crimson] tide! You can find me on twitter & Instagram: @HRecruit Snapchat: kminny32 Google+: LinkedIn: Thoughts here (and on all my social media channels) are mine and do not represent the thoughts/beliefs of my employer. Why would I name my blog HR Pockets? Read about it in my first post years ago!!

5 thoughts on “Pamper your millennials”

  1. Hey Kris…I don’t think that an organization is going to be able to get away from the concept of “throwing money” at their recruitment or retention problem. As HR, I think that we need to get away from the misconception that more money isn’t what millennial workers are looking for in an employer…a lot of millennial employees are saddled with student debt, plus having to deal with all the other life expenses we all have to deal with, so a higher salary offering may definitely entice someone looking to join an organization. But let’s say we’re trying to keep salary costs down…well then we need to look at other recruiting incentives i.e. benefits like health, training, tuition reimbursement, work-life balance incentives, work location etc. A lot of articles and studies show that millennials value their work-life balance (paid time off, telework opportunities, etc), are looking for opportunities to commute to work (which means higher rent costs to be able to have offices in a public transportation accessible location), development opportunities (which as you mentioned means more money for training), plus all the other quirky stuff that millennials value. Either way you look at it…organizations are going to be “throwing” more money towards their millennial employees…directly or indirectly, and that’s not a bad thing.

    1. Great perspective Ernie! I think that money is involved in solving the problem, but unless someone says “My problem with this place is you don’t pay me enough” a salary hike isn’t going to keep them around long-term. For example, I like a plan… I need a plan! I can work a budget and make do, I can’t handle not having a plan long term. That’s very vague, but it’s a problem for me. I think my other concern is that too many managers are relying on posts (even like this one) to figure out what their millennials need instead of engaging with them and finding out what their employee needs. It drives me batty to hear a manager say “well I just don’t understand him because he’s a millennial.” That’s not necessarily the case! You may not understand him because you’ve never engaged with him. A ton of different ways to spin this conversation!

      1. Hey Kris! I completely agree…org’s definitely need to know how to engage their workforce. Personally, I think that the total comp approach is probably going to be the best way for orgs to determine how best to utilize their finite resources when it comes to this particular area. Like you said…figure out what ALL (not just the millennials) their employees value in a compensation package, and tailor their offerings to meet those needs (whether its benefits, development opportunities, etc.). As always…I love your perspectives and our exchanges! lol

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