Millennials want more out of a job than just a paycheck.  They are driven by a unique combination of personal mission, ambition for career progression, and desire for continuous learning and personal development.

Studies show that most new hires decide within the first three weeks on the job whether they feel at home with their new organization.

Does your onboarding program deliver what Millennials want and need to know to reinforce their decision, improve their engagement and help ensure their retention with the company?

An effective onboarding program will focus on ensuring new Millennial hires understand the organization’s commitment to them in terms of:

  • Values and mission
  • Career advancement and personal development
  • Coaching and mentorship opportunities

The formula for successfully onboarding Millennials is simple. Address Millennials basic motivations for choosing the work they do and who they do it for. Show them how your organization aligns with these motivations.  Create alignment between their motivations and the experience of working with your organization. Do that, and you’ll make major progress towards turning new Millennial hires into engaged, loyal employees.

 Values & Mission

Today’s Millennial workforce lives by a strong mission and value system and is seeking to align their career with a higher purpose.

According to a survey by Microsoft, 88% of respondents said that are drawn to companies that display a clearly defined set of values and a strong mission.

This is reinforced by Deloitte, which found that six in ten Millennials say “a sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose a new employer. Among “super-connected Millennials”, those who are heavy users of social networking tools, there is an even greater focus on business purpose with 77% of this group reporting their company’s purpose was a major reason why they chose to work there.

Deloitte also found a strong sense of purpose was closely linked to positive organizational performance. Among businesses where Millennials say there is a strong sense of purpose, there is significantly higher reporting of financial success, employee satisfaction and growth in recruitment.

Since this generation leans towards employers and jobs where they feel they can serve a purpose, onboardingshould focus on ensuring that the new hire understands the company’s broader social mission and impact, internalizes that mission and aligns it with their own core values, and how both the employee and organization can work together contribute to society as a whole.

How important is stressing the organization’s mission in onboarding and retention?

Deloitte reports that company values that are shared with and believed by Millennials also promote loyalty – especially when employers demonstrate a strong sense of purpose beyond financials.  Millennials who say that they plan to stay with their current company for at least the next five years also are far more likely to report a strong sense of purpose than those who think they will leave in the next two years.

Career Advancement & Personal Development

Moving up the ladder is important to Millennial employees.  Making sure they understand opportunities to do it within your organization must be a key objective of your onboarding program.

In a survey of how Millennial college graduates evaluate employers and job opportunities, PriceWaterhouseCoopers  (PWC) found:

  • Career progression is a top priority for Millennials with 52% saying this was the main attraction of an employer, coming ahead of competitive salaries at 44%. Excellent training and development programs followed at 35%.
  • Some 65% who had recently accepted a job said the opportunity for personal development was the factor that most influenced their decision. It was the number one factor and far ahead of the starting salary at 21%.
  • When asked which benefits they would most value from an employer, training and development topped the list at 22%, ahead of financial benefits.

In many ways, Millennials see their jobs as stepping stones to self-improvement and a way to continuously develop the skills they need to remain employable and to advance. The majority of Millennials – some 93% – see ongoing skill development as an important part of their careers. Make sure your onboarding program addresses both opportunities in your organization for career advancement and for skill development.

Coaching and Mentoring Opportunities

Millennials place high value on coaching and mentoring.

According to a study by PWC, “Working with strong coaches and mentors” topped the list of training and development opportunities that Millennials would most value from employers.

Millennials have grown up with the notion that they should constantly seek the advice of others – often through social media. This leads to another unique aspect of mentoring Millennials – they tend to welcome having multiple mentors ranging from traditional managers to peers to specialized coaches or other subject matter experts.

As we’ve seen, support for Millennials career ambitions and development and exploring how their personal values align with corporate values and objectives drive Millennial employee loyalty and retention. Mentors are a powerful tool to accomplish this. A Deloitte study found that those who intended to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%).

Our “Onboarding Millennials” e-book offers dozens of tips and techniques for addressing Millennials’ needs during onboarding and a complete roadmap for creating a successful onboarding program.  Click here to download your free copy.



The 3 "Must Have" Strategies for Recruiting, Training and Retaining Great Millennial New Hires

Download Your Free Copy!