Return to Blog

What Matters to Millennials: Growth, Feedback, and Impact

Every year, millennials are launching their careers and stepping into the positions formerly held by their predecessors. By 2020, Millennials will comprise of 46% of the workforce, and by 2025 they will make up 75% of the workforce.

But for employers who are under the impression that millennials are like the generation before them, they better think again. This rising generation comes into the workforce with their own set of values, ideas, and expectations that are different from their parents. For those who believe that the terms entitled, privileged, lazy, spoiled and self-absorbed are an accurate description of Millennials, it might be time to adjust that perspective.

Are Millennials Right for the Apartment Industry?

Despite the negative stereotypes that seem to follow Millennials, they have proven to be an ideal addition to management and on-site leasing teams. Research shows that millennials are tech savvy and pick up on trends much quicker than previous generations. Their unique perspective and passion for collaboration will allow them to improve and strengthen current operations.

They have a natural entrepreneurial spirit and because of this, take initiative in thinking and providing innovative solutions to problems. Most of them work independently, but value collaboration and being part of a team. Because of their natural desire to innovate, they continue to bring fresh ideas and boundless energy into the existing on-site team.

However, according to studies, 66% of millennials expect to leave their current positions by 2020 while only 16% see themselves with their current employers 10 years from now.

So why do millennials want to leave? More importantly, how do we get millennials to stay?

Leadership Development

The development of leadership skills has proven to be highly important to this generation. 83% of organizations say it’s important to develop leaders, but only 5% have implemented development systems.

Employers who offer training, support, and provide a pathway to grow in leadership find themselves hanging on to their millennial employees. This will stimulate growth, result in loyalty, and encourage employees to advance within the industry.

As stated by Angus Ridgway, co-founder of Potentialife:

“Millennials don’t need traditional classroom-based leadership training. They don’t want to spend time studying. In their time-pressed world, they are eager to get to action. They will respond much better to approaches that allow them to practice and ritualize new leadership behaviors without leaving the context of day-to-day life.”

Ask yourself if you are providing opportunities to develop skills with in your team. Millennials have a desire to work hard and a HUGE desire to grow professionally and personally.


Millennials want to know how they are doing. A study from TriNet showed that 74% of millennials don’t know how their managers think they’re performing. Along with leadership development, millennials want to grow and learn as professionals. Does this mean you need to have annual reviews? Not necessarily. But having an environment where your employees know exactly where you stand with them is vital for this generation. Praise them for doing good work and give them feedback on what they could be doing better.

They want to know what they are doing well and what can be improved upon. Millennials are not afraid of receiving feedback, they simply want to know how they can get better and be acknowledged for the things they are doing well.

The Desire to Have an Impact

When it’s all said and done, understanding what Millennials want is not difficult. They want to change the world. For this generation, being a part of something that matters sometimes means more than money. They are looking for a place that fuels their innovative spirit and will allow them to be part of a team, not just a workplace, that solves real problems. When hiring Millennials, you are hiring a generation that is motivated by the desire to have an impact, not just a paycheck.

According to, 37% of Millennials say they are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.

They want to be stimulated, remain engaged, but most of all they want to work with purpose. Companies need to find ways to support this desire to have an impact. Not every company’s product will be tied directly to a cause, TOMS Shoes for example, but what about the role your business plays within the community?

In a study by Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pules, 81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship. Ask yourself, does your organization implement Corporate Social Responsibility?

Retention & Turnover

You must view millennial team members walking out the door as money walking out with it. Research shows that 87% of employers say it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace a millennial employee.

High turnover rates usually, not always, stems from employees not finding what they’re looking for. When interviewing potential employees from this generation, find out what is important to them. Knowing and communicating expectations will help both set the employer and the employee up for success.

Millennials have the drive and the passion to work hard if they believe they are a part of building something that matters. They want to be a part of a team, have their voice be heard, the opportunity to share their ideas, and be recognized for their work. Allow this generation to be heard, give them work that means something, and you’ll decrease the turnover rate and increase retention. Don’t view employees as disposable, but choose to invest in them.

Time to Make a Change

There is lots to consider when looking ahead to the inevitable shift in the American workforce. Employers have a real opportunity to entice and develop talent around a spirit of innovation, servant leadership, and solid corporate ethics.

Your Millennial workforce will feel more confident when they have the opportunity to make an impact, the chance to share ideas, and to be a part of a company that is making the world a better place.

With the shift happening in the workforce, it’s time to get creative with employee enticement, recruiting, & retention. When you implement what matters to millennials, you’ll find yourself with a hard-working team that will be excited and loyal to your organization.

Published on