How to Manage Millennials at the Workplace

The term Millennial is used to describe people born between 1980 and 2000. They are also known as Generation Y (Gen Y). The term Millennial usually applies to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. Millennials are identified by the following common behavior traits technology savvy, job-hoppers, skeptics, impatient and disloyal, non-conformist, insubordinate, ambitious-yet-lazy, digital and social media addicts.

Workplace satisfaction matters more to Millennials than monetary compensation. Work-life balance is often considered essential. They are less likely to put up with an unpleasant work environment and more likely turn to social media platforms to voice their concerns. Satisfied Millennials on the other hand advocate for organizations they work for, provide honest, free and convincing public relations (PR).

A study conducted by Bloomberg in 2018, noted that Millennials accounted for 31.5% of the world population. In a similar survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers, it projected that Millennials will account for half of the global workforce by 2020. Data from the Ghana statistical service show that 57% of the working population is under the age of 25. These statistics make it imperative for institutions to put in place measures that will effectively manage Millennials at the workplace to boost performance.

We share some strategies that can be used by institutions to manage Millennials at the workplace.

Assess employee engagement factors at least once every two years

Use employee engagement surveys to identify employee needs and gaps at the workplace. This will help identify determinant factors for each demographic group which may vary at the workplace. Essential management decisions can be made from the information obtained from such surveys to strengthen organizational performance. Questions relating to work-life balance, participation in decision making, flexible work schedule, use of technology at the workplace and games could be asked. Ask open-ended questions to give staff the opportunity to express and share their opinions about the issues.

Promote work-life balance activities

The quest to achieve organizational targets can be stressful some-times for everyone at the workplace. These may require staff to work longer hours or during weekends placing their work-life out of balance. Work-life balance has been found to have a relationship with labor-turnover. When an employee’s personal life conflicts with their work schedules, there is a tendency for them to leave a job based on how such a situation is handled by their supervisors. Organizations in their quest to manage Millennials may consider practices such as paid vacations & weekends, Happy hour activities, paid sports subscriptions, etc. This assessment should be done on a regular basis and objective to determine if staff are performing at their optimum and in cases where challenges exist to address them.

Create opportunities for growth

It is important that Millennials know there are opportunities for growth at the workplace. The absence of such opportunities brings them to a point of evaluating their role and future with the organization. If they feel stuck in a routine role for a long time, they will leave the organization. Career discussions should be held with their line managers and HR at least twice in a year to bring direction to their career growth. Rotation of roles similar to their career choice should also be considered as a means to create growth opportunities.

Embrace Technology

The effectiveness of technology and social media in promoting business growth in recent times cannot be overemphasized. Millennials by virtue of their period of birth find themselves in a digital age and are tech-savvy. Studies have shown that Millennials spend an average of two and a half hours on social media every day, and send on average 50 texts a day. Multi-networking is the new norm and presents great opportunities to meet other professionals, promote businesses and generate leads as well as revenue. Organizations should adopt technology at the workplace to get the best out of Millennials. It is however essential that the organization institute control measures prevent abuse of technology.

Conduct Stay Interviews

At the core of the practice of Stay Interviews is to reduce employee turnover. Instead of waiting to hold exit-interviews when staff is leaving, conduct Stay interviews particularly with Millennials to identify key areas to improve. Steps should then be taken to address possible concerns in the broader interest of promoting long-term stay in the organization.

Enhance your organizational

Practices aimed at promoting team cohesion and staff performance are evolving and it is essential for the organizations to keep up with industry trends. Millennials are usually expressive, and like every other staff want to work and stay in organizations whose values they identify with. Practices that are autocratic, procedural & process inclined, command-and-control driven, dismissive of employee voice, and overly conservative will not attract and retain Millennials for the long term. An organization’s culture should be friendly to attract people especially Millennials. Practices that will enhance organizational performance includes promoting inter-generational working teams, adopt workgroup concepts, brainstorming sessions, adopt inverse-mentor system (where a young staff is paired with an older employee to learn new skills usually in technology).


The argument of singling out one generation and proposing measures to manage them at the workplace has been questioned by People Management and Business Professionals in recent times. The concern has always been that every generation thinks that the subsequent one is lazy and does things differently.

That notwithstanding, we believe that staff in an organization must be categorized and studied for effective management to ensure they give out their best at the workplace. Clearly, inter-generational conflicts cannot be avoided in the workplace neither can Millennials as they make up a good percentage of our workforce globally now.

Indeed, Millennials are clearly the most misunderstood and discussed generation of our time.

Organizations must, therefore, adopt creative ways to manage Millennials at the workplace to get the best out of them. Using people management practices that worked in the past may not necessarily yield the expected outcome with Millennials because of their unique needs.


HR Retention Strategies

4 key retention strategies to ensure you don’t lose your best HR talent

Thanks to HR’s position on the frontline of so many of the seismic shifts that have hit the workplace in recent times – from hybrid working and the Great Resignation, to the cost of living crisis and now the challenge of ‘quiet quitting’ – life has never been more hectic for hard-pressed people teams everywhere.

Under such trying circumstances perhaps it’s not surprising that looking after the people who look after your people can sometimes take a back seat when it really shouldn’t. A recent survey of 200 UK HR managers showed that almost half (45%) had considered leaving their current roles due to the pressure of dealing with employee burnout and mental health concerns. Furthermore, 23% reported suffering compassion fatigue as a result of two years spent supporting struggling employees while not being adequately supported themselves.

Left unchecked, the consequences are not hard to predict – your top HR talent will start to leave, just at the point when you need them most. In fact, this may already be happening, data released by LinkedIn in June shows that the level of churn in HR roles globally was 15%, over one-third higher than the average and the highest turnover rate of any job function.

So what can you do to help keep them onboard? Here are some retention strategies to help you hang on to your HR team, and ensure that they are positive, engaged and ready to meet whatever fresh challenges the fast-changing world of work can throw at them:


  1. Prioritise the team’s wellbeing and mental health

HR people are programmed to look after other people, it’s the nature of the job. But that shouldn’t mean that they don’t get looked after themselves. Despite the progress made since the pandemic on sharing our personal lives with colleagues, admitting to mental health worries at work can still be taboo.

So, senior leaders need to be role models, who talk openly about the issues, use the company’s mental health support services (assuming there are some – if not, then that’s the first job on your to do list) and don’t expect their teams to work themselves to a frazzle at evenings and weekends. HR managers should also be briefed to engage with their teams and encourage them to prioritise their own wellbeing – because it’s hard to help someone else when you need help yourself.


  1. Create a joined up expression of your culture

The difference between the ‘external’ culture a company presents when it is looking to attract candidates and the ‘internal’ one that those candidates experience once they are hired can be stark. This is something that impacts HR people more than most, because they are immersed in both the external and internal view on a daily basis. If the contrast is too jarring, retention will always be an uphill struggle because disappointment will turn to demotivation and ultimately to departure.

So, try to present a joined up experience of your culture, one where attraction and retention are no longer seen as separate functions, but rather as conjoined parts of a single whole. As Personio’s Attraction Plus white paper reveals, talent attraction can benefit from internal input – such as feedback from hired candidates – just as talent retention can benefit from external input, like secondments to other organisations and peer feedback.


  1. Give your people the work they want to do

Job satisfaction is about feeling that you’ve done something worthwhile at the end of the day, but it’s hard to get that warm glow if you’ve spent eight hours filling in a spreadsheet or processing holiday applications. Personio’s HR Study 2022 white paper identified the burden of admin as a major brake on higher value HR activities (55% of HR managers said time spent on admin was getting in the way of more strategic work, and 19% said that too much admin and process was preventing HR from supporting business success).

Smart HR tech can help automate low-value admin and process tasks, digitising workflow and freeing up your team to apply their skills and experience where they can have the biggest impact. Berlin-based NGO Kiron cut the time spent on HR admin by 30% when it adopted Personio as the central hub for all its HR processes. More rewarding work leads to greater job satisfaction and higher retention rates. It’s a win-win!


  1. Keep on top of performance and development

A clear and well managed path for career development – and the performance support needed to follow it – has always been crucial when it comes to retaining talent. Never more so than in today’s tight market, where if you don’t manage performance and develop your people, they will vote with their feet and find an employer who will. The impact on retention is unarguable – research from LinkedIn shows that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invested in their development.

Nevertheless, Personio’s 2022 HR Study found that performance reviews are on the whole, neither fair nor frequent, with only 51% of employees saying their reviews were fair and a mere 39% saying they received regular performance feedback. A sobering 18% said they never received a review from their manager. Technology can help automate the review cycle, but it’s up to managers to have fair, transparent and regular performance conversations with their team, and to follow them up with tailored development plans for each individual.

With the cost of replacing a typical employee running at around £3,000 a head, improving retention makes sound commercial sense across every department. But keeping your HR team on board, engaged and productive is doubly vital – because they are the people who can help you hang on to all of your top talent, whatever department or function of the business they work in.


This article was culled from the September 2022 Edition of the People Management  Insight Magazine of  the CIPD, UK