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13 Takeaways from GCP’s Panel Discussion on Retaining Millennial Workers

Written by Nicole Rothstein

Hiring millennials seems to be a top-of-mind topic for employers. This young group of workers can bring new talent, fresh perspective and renewed commitment to your business. But what is the trick to keeping them long enough to make a powerful impact on your company? To highlight some of the ways companies are tackling this issue, GCP pulled together the following experts for a panel discussion in December: Marzell Brown from Rockwell Automation, Jeff Heinen from Heinen’s and Ashley Rivera from Union Home Mortgage.

Here are 13 tactics to retaining millennials from the discussion that you can implement in your company:

Provide millennials with feedback and information

Takeaway No. 1: Create resource groups that provide feedback on different topics important to millennials and the company as a whole.

Takeaway No. 2: Establish a rewards system that changes frequently so managers are forced to recognize and acknowledge workers regularly.

Takeaway No. 3: Develop a program where millennials have exposure to people higher up in the company for feedback and guidance, such as regular lunch and learns or even more direct mentoring opportunities.

Takeaway No. 4: Make sure your company is transparent and important information reaches all levels. Hold regular senior management meetings, where those leaders then take that information back and share it with their departments.

Takeaway No. 5: Consider an open floor plan for increased communication and collaboration.

Show millennials they are valued, respected and trusted

Takeaway No. 6: Survey your staff often so they have a voice in things happening within the company. Leverage their opinions and knowledge.

Takeaway No. 7: Put someone in charge of retention—a staff person to go to with concerns and issues and someone who is checking in to make sure employees are content.

Takeaway No. 8: Get to know your employees. What is important to them? What will keep them satisfied with their job and the company—increased responsibilities, flex time, travel?

Stand out in a crowd of employers

Takeaway No. 9: Give back. Research shows that millennials want to not only do well, but do good. Make giving back to the community part of your company mission. Offer a company match program or organize volunteer days.

Takeaway No. 10: Be socially responsible. Work sustainability into your company values wherever you can.

Takeaway No. 11: Offer regular trainings and other opportunities for employees to build on their skills. Don’t just focus on their current job, but on their next job as well.

Takeaway No. 12: Improve benefit packages. Competitive salaries are important to millennials (and everyone!), but so are other benefits like more vacation time.

Takeaway No. 13: Create an effective internship program. Form partnerships with high schools and colleges. A good relationship with their career services staff will ensure you get the best-of-the-best, and ideally the internship program will feed into regular staffing.    

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