« 5 leaders share their strategies for retaining millennials » by Caroline Colvin august 11th 2021

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While Gen Z is the emerging hot demographic, many employers are still trying to wrangle the hearts, minds and loyalty of millennials. Some companies are clearly nailing it; see Great Place to Work and Fortune’s list of best workplaces for millennials. The research firm and the publication polled workplaces, both small (10 to 999 employees) and large (1,000 or more), representing about 5.3 million U.S. workers.

To be considered, companies had to employ at least 50 millennials. The survey itself consisted of 60 questions regarding « the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All, » with special focus on millennial trust and self-actualization in an organization.

So, what makes a millennial want to stick with a company? Below is advice from five key players on the large workplaces list.

Altria Group, No. 45: Prioritize work-life integration

Even prior to the pandemic, some HR pros championed « work-life integration » over work-life balance. The difference? According to UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, integration creates « synergies » between multiple facets of life, including work, home, family, community, personal well-being and health. In short, it’s not about a binary, but a union.

This ethos, an Altria spokesperson explained, is why millennials are thriving at this tobacco company. « Altria understands that millennials are looking for employers who see them as whole human beings rather than just employees, » George Parman, director of communications, said in an email. « They’re seeking workplaces that allow for true work-life integration and benefits to complement their lifestyle. »

HubSpot, No. 15: Take mental health seriously

Investment in employee growth, both personal and professional, is a crucial reason why HubSpot is a great place to work, according to Director of Employer Brand and Internal Communications Hannah Fleishman.

« Free food and ping pong tables aren’t culture, » Fleishman said in an email. « Mental health is becoming increasingly important to HubSpotters and so we introduced a new benefit called Modern Health in 2021, which gives employees access to therapy and coaching sessions.

Ultimately, leadership wants employees to show up as their best selves. « That’s why we listen to employees, act on their feedback and are constantly working to build a culture where everyone feels like they belong, » she said.

Zillow Group, No. 24: Offer flexibility

Cat Neilson, Zillow’s senior manager of employer branding and a self-identified millennial, said that reimagining where and how work gets done gives a lot of meaning to her team’s day-to-day work. « We’re focused on unlocking mobility for customers and in the housing market — a mission that extends to employees’ lives as they’re able to work from anywhere. It’s a more equitable, efficient and inclusive approach that we believe is setting the standard for what the future of work can look like, » Neilson said in an email interview. « Millennials care about working with purpose, flexibility and a true sense of belonging for all, and those are shared passions across all the generations inside Zillow. »

Hyatt Hotels Corp., No. 20: Let employees show up authentically

Nikki Massey, a senior vice president of human resources, Americas at Hyatt Hotels Corp., also said that prioritizing employee wellness is crucial. « Our focus is on cultivating an environment where our colleagues can be their true selves and flourish both personally and professionally, » Massey said in an email interview. In caring for « the heart of Hyatt, » Massey and her team look to « advance holistic well-being » from health and safety, talent development and DEI.

« From the pandemic to racial injustice to financial hardships, the need for companies to address challenging issues head-on is critical, » Massey said in an email interview, touching on what Randstad CDIO Audra Jenkins calls « a triple pandemic. » « We have long believed that only companies who operate with a purpose beyond financial gain can thrive and contribute to a greater good for this world, » Massey added.

Cisco, No. 1: Put people first

At the top of Fortune and Great Place to Work’s large companies list is Cisco. According to Macy Andrews, senior director of people, policy and purpose, Cisco’s people-first, community-oriented approach is what earned the company the top spot.

« Being part of a company that uses its position and influence to advance causes — whether it’s social justice, sustainability, [fighting] homelessness, or empowering our employees to give back to the community — gives greater purpose to every employee, in every role, » Andrews said in an email. It’s why employees say they’re proud to work there, she explained.

She also added that career development opportunities and space to show up authentically are a part of Cisco’s appeal. Ultimately, Cisco puts its people first. « We don’t just say it, but we do it and that builds trust, » Andrews said. « When you care about and invest in the whole person, then that person is willing to give their best to the organization

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