Millennials In the Workforce


According to Time Magazine, there are about 80 million millennials in the United States, and nearly half of them are already in the workforce. According to Forbes Magazine, Millennials are both “culturally diverse and the most educated generation” and “disreputable job hoppers who dislike administration and distrust traditional hierarchies” Given this, it’s important for all businesses, HR leaders and managers to understand how best to connect with, motivate and inspire millennials in the workforce.

Ways to connect with, motivate and inspire Millennials in the workforce

Employee engagement is Huge

An engaged employee is one who is positively attached to his/her work beyond just collecting a paycheck and enjoying the free Scones in the break room. An engaged employee will be emotionally involved and happy about their work, and will work with passion to positively impact their business’s interests. Millennials want to feel a connection with their organization, and this has a significance impact on their retention and turnover. They need both meaning and purpose in their work. The core values cannot be just those posters on the wall. They have to see and feel the values. Your business’s output will also increase significantly when employee engagement is part of your business strategy.

Love Technology

Everything is online, so make your performance metrics be as accessible as a Wikipedia page or a Box file. Get rid of unnecessary paper processes in favor of a digital app that managers and employees can access through their browser or smartphone. For example, the performance assessment process could be visual and interactive. Millennials prefer to track and update their status with mere mouse clicks.


If you really want to motivate and inspire millennials, it’s important that you help them see where the business is going. Studies have shown that 95% of millennials are more motivated to perform when they know where they are headed. What’s more, 80% seek regular, on the spot feedback instead of formal reviews. In short, they must feel close to their bosses and the company, or they will quickly become disconnected.

Make an Honest Connection

Millennials have a strong desire to connect and interact with others in both their personal life and in the work environment. Having grown up in a universe of technology and social media, connecting with others is a lifestyle for them.

You can connect with, motivate and inspire them by forming relationships with them in which they feel you are a colleague rather just an individual above them that they must answer too. You can do this by sharing your goals and personal experience and by asking them about their own.

Millennials are one of the most open minded generations, and they value candor. Every time you offer honest opinions to this generation, you open the doors to a stronger connection with them. Vulnerability is sexy to them!


Work life balance is one of the most significant drivers of employee retention among this group. Millennials are essentially able to work anywhere anytime with an internet connection. So, seemingly arbitrary work hours or having to sit at a desk all day is less attractive to them.

The Bottom Line

It may seem like a daunting task to connect with, motivate and inspire millennials, but it’s possible if you take the time to understand the way they view the world and what matters most to them.

About our fantastic guest author:  Devin C. Hughes is a Chief Inspiration Officer specializing in motivational speeches and positive psychology. His credentials include certificates from Stanford University, Cornell University, and University of California, Berkeley. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

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