Evan Hackel

By Evan Hackel

How to Make Millennials Fall In Love with Working for You

How to Make Millennials Fall In Love with Working for You 150 150 Evan Hackel

Recent studies find that millennials’ attitudes toward work differ dramatically from those held by members of the older Baby Boomer generation. For example, a recent study from Gallup, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” reported these findings:

  • 60% of millennials say that the opportunity to learn and grow on the job is “extremely important” to them. In contrast, only 40% of baby boomers feel the same way.


  • 50% of millennials strongly agree that they plan to remain in their jobs for at least the next year. In contrast, 60% of members of all other groups plan to stay in place for that long. The message is that millennials are weighing their options.

Findings like those – and you can easily find more – show that keeping millennials happy and engaged at work can be a challenge. But it can be done. Here are some trends that can have a strong impact on your franchise’s ability to attract, hire and retain the strongest millennial employees.

Millennials like to feel capable and confident in their jobs. They do not like to feel like rookies. Many think of themselves as leaders – or as leaders who are waiting to be discovered. They want to look good and thrive on being able to confidently contribute from the first day they arrive on the job. The right kind of training – both for new and current millennial employees – makes that happen.

Millennials are usually skilled students. They like to apply the learning skills they built while they were in school. To them, learning feels as natural as eating three meals a day. In contrast, getting baby boomers to believe in learning can be a harder sell. They tend to view training as a burden, something they must endure. In contrast, millennials are more likely to say, “Wow, when can I start?”

Millennials are tech-friendly. Most of them love to be trained on their mobile phones and tablets, which are the most powerful training options available to many companies today. The result is better knowledge transfer, even to groups of employees who work in far-flung locations. Baby boomers, in contrast, are more tech-resistant. They are likely to freeze and resist when they hear they are going to be taking company training on their little smartphones.

Millennials like to be part of energized teams. This is a bit of a contradiction, but at the same time millennials think of themselves as individualist entrepreneurs, they also expect to be part of an interesting team. Letting millennials get to know their teammates during training, and fostering a sense of team/group identity, can help convince them that they have joined the right organization.

Millennials like a well-defined career path. Consider creating a personalized career development plan for all new employees. (The exception being seasonal or other short-term workers who will probably not remain with your company for long.) Another idea? Enroll new employees in management training programs from their first days on the job. In a retail franchise, for example, you can enroll them in training that will enable them to manage their own stores in two years, or after another stated period. Millennials like to know their next steps as they build their careers, and training is a fine place to begin.

 And remember training . . .

Training is important to millennials. They are the most energized, skilled and capable generation ever to enter the workforce. Train them well and they will become your organization’s brightest future.

This article is adapted from the book Ingaging Leadership by Evan Hackel.

About Evan Hackel

Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, hosts “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business, and author of Ingaging Leadership. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit evanspeaksfranchising.com. Follow @ehackel or call 704-452-7368. Why not have Evan Hackel address your group about franchising success?