[Infographic] Understanding millennial workers may be the secret to retaining young talent

[Infographic] Understanding millennial workers may be the secret to retaining young talent

By 2020, millennials will make up over a third of the working population worldwide. From financial compensation to work-life balance, from generational tensions to leadership potential, let’s have a look at what it means to best engage what may be today’s most influential demographic.



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It’s Not Just The Money

It takes more than just money to keep millennials feeling fulfilled in their jobs. Apart from financial compensation, here's what millennials prioritise:

  • Career Progression

Millennials look for opportunities to rise up the career ladder, and value constant feedback from their employers.

  • Work-Life Balance

Millennials appreciate flexible working hours, substantial time-off, and other perks that will allow them to take care of themselves and their families.

  • Learning

Millennials prioritise their personal development, and look for jobs that provide opportunities to learn new skills.

Furthermore, career progression is the top priority for millennials who aspire to rise rapidly through the organisation. 52% said that this was the main attraction in an employer, coming ahead of competitive salaries at 44%.   


Chronic Job-Hoppers?

A significant number of millennials are not satisfied with their jobs, with many planning to leave in the near future, a Deloitte survey revealed. In 2017, 1 in 4 millennials said that they would quit if given the choice. By 2020, 2 in 3 millennials expect to leave their current job.

But millennials are not just job-hopping for no reason. According to Deloitte, this lack of loyalty maybe a “sign of neglect”, as many millennials feel that they are not given the opportunity to fully develop and utllise their skills in their company.

Lack Of Leadership Development

Millennials recognise leadership skills as one of the most important skills in business, but many feel that they are not given enough opportunities to hone their leadership potential in their companies.

Globally, more than 60% of millennials feel that their "leadership skills are not being fully developed” in their current jobs. In certain Southeast Asian nations like Singapore, this figure shoots up to over 70%.


Broken Promises

Millennials are also disappointed with promises not being kept, suggesting that employers may not be managing and delivering on expectations effectively.

From the Deloitte survey, 28% of the millennial respondents said that work-life balance was worse than they had expected before joining their companies. And more than 50% said that while companies talk about diversity, they did not feel that opportunities were equal for all.


Wanderlust & City Dust

Millennials have a strong appetite for working overseas. A PwC millennial survey revealed that 71% expect and want to do an overseas assignment during their career, which is good news for companies that are looking to expand overseas.

Many respondents expressed a preference for working in first-world nations like the US, UK, and Australia, as opposed to countries like India and China. That said, over 50% said they would be willing to work in a less developed country to further their career.


Generational Tensions

The PwC survey showed that while millennials say that they are comfortable working with mentors and older workers, there are signs of generational tensions.

38% said that older senior management do not relate to younger workers, 34% said that their personal drive was intimidating to other generations, and almost half felt that their managers did not always understand the way they use technology at work.

This suggests that there may be a need for better communication at the workplace, to facilitate interactions and increase understanding between millennials and older employees.



Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. To attract and inspire millennial talent to stay, employers will have to understand that they value an inclusive working culture, work-life balance, as well as opportunities to learn and advance in their careers.

As more and more millennials are entering the workforce, retaining talent is less about hefty salaries and routine work, and more about roles that inspire them to contribute and grow.


A version of this article was first published on e27.


Sources: ManpowerGroup, PwC, Deloitte

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