Top Tips for Engaging with Millennials in the Workplace


Millennials are often unfairly cast as a lazy, entitled generation of individuals who would rather munch on smashed avocado while surfing social media than save for a house or work hard for a living. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that millennials can make a positive contribution to the workplace. You just need to find out what makes them tick.

Generally, millennials, or Gen Y as they are also known, are the group of people born anytime from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. They are tech savvy and adept at using social media, much like Gen X which preceded them and Gen Z which follows them. A recent survey by Deloitte provides more detail, revealing that:

  • Australian millennials have little job loyalty.

They are happy to jump from one role to another. Only 27% expect to stay with their current employer for more than five years.

  • They actively seek independence and flexibility.

Traditional office-based 9-5 jobs hold little appeal for millennials. By contrast, the gig economy is viewed as an attractive option with 73% prepared to consider joining it.

  • Work is not the be all and end all.

In fact, the top aspiration for millennials is to travel and see the world.

  • Millennials have a gloomy outlook on the economy.

Only 19% of them believe that the current situation will improve.

With millennials and Gen Z combined now making up 40% of the Australian workforce, it is obvious that employers need to respond to their wants and concerns. But how?

Here are some of our top tips for engaging with millennials in the workplace.

Offer training and development

Millennials are aware that they will be more valuable to prospective employers with an enhanced skill set. Be prepared to offer them in-house and external training opportunities. Yes, it’s a big investment to make given that they might jump ship before you’ve gained a return, but with luck you will succeed in retaining some of them longer term. Or in winning others from competitor firms.

Embrace flexible working arrangements

Rethink your current working arrangements. Are there options for remote working or flexible hours? For split shifts or job sharing? If not, consider ways of introducing them in your business. Millennials don’t want to be tied down to set hours and locations and are likely to be more committed when they have some say over where they work and when.

Set short-term goals

Sit down for a regular pulse check with your millennials. Establish what they are doing now and what they hope to achieve in the workplace in the short-term. Tap into their talents and provide support and guidance to help them reach their goals. They will benefit – and your business will too.

Focus on work-life balance

Show your people there’s more to life than work by offering them extra perks, such as gym memberships, bootcamps and free food (although possibly skip the smashed avo). Build a positive company culture where individuals feel valued by opting to hold your monthly meeting in a local café or taking your team out for drinks after work.


By creating a positive working environment where millennials feel they have value and a voice, you will maximise their contribution to your business. Even if they don’t stay for the duration.

Whether you are Gen X, Y or Z, the Optimal Recruitment team are here to help you on your career journey. Contact us today to discuss new opportunities.