Millennials: Why They’re Important and How to Motivate Them

Millennials are the largest age demographic in the U.S. workforce. Find out what drives millennials at work and how to keep them as employees

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Here’s how to motivate millennials as employees and how your culture can align with their values

Chances are, you’re very familiar with Millennials, and likely even encounter them at your workplace already. Anyone born between 1981 and 1995 is considered a Millennial. What you may not know is that Millennials are now the largest age demographic in the United States labor force, as Baby Boomers have begun to retire.

Because of this, workplaces will have to shift their organizational culture to align with Millennial values. Motivating and empowering a new era of employees means understanding what drives them.

What Millennials Want in the Workplace Workest1

Positive Reinforcement

If your workplace culture tends to criticize more than it praises, you can expect Millennial turnover. Most workers, not just Millennials, want to know if they’re doing a good job so they can continue to emulate that work ethic.

Positive reinforcement and employee recognition programs let your Millennial employees know their work is valued and helps move your company in a positive direction. Employees stick around when they’re appreciated.


Even in 2019, diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an issue. Unfortunately, certain industries still have a ways to go to be more inclusive.

Additionally, we’re seeing more diversity among the general populace. Societal trends dictate that younger generations are breaking free from traditional roles and embracing their individual identities. Because of this, workplaces will have to follow suit and embrace diversity and inclusivity if they want to attract and retain top Millennial talent.

The inclusion doesn’t necessarily stop there. Traditional workplaces tend to have a very rigid hierarchy, where only upper management held ideas and input. Giving front-facing employees a bigger platform and equally distributing the opportunity to share ideas to all employees will be vital in empowering Millennial workers.


One thing Millennials value is honesty — not solely from upper management, but from a company in its entirety. Millennials are satisfied at companies with benefits that match their values. If a company says that they have certain values, but fail to uphold them organization-wide through benefits, don’t expect a Millennial to stick around. The talent market favors job candidates — not employers — so if you have a shiny, happy mission statement but don’t adhere to it, Millennials will be the first to know. If you’re a sustainable company, be a sustainable company. If you’re a health and wellness company, honor health and wellness.


It goes without saying that the modern workplace is a flexible one. Fortunately, flexibility has a high ROI. Offering remote options, flexible work hours, and unlimited PTO has shown a great return for contemporary companies giving it a go. Pretty soon, it’ll be the norm.

Key Takeaways

Millennials can be the biggest advocates and the hardest workers for an organization if it:

  • Has a positive, inclusive culture
  • Stands behind its mission
  • Upholds values that make the workforce a better place
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