There is a lot written about what millennials want out of a workplace, and a lot of it ultimately comes down to being able to fulfill their passions and do work that has a broader purpose. Yes, the financial side is also important because at the end of 2018, millennials had $1 trillion in student loan debt. However, what keeps millennials in jobs is hiring them in positions that align with their passions and purpose.
To understand where this comes from, you need to look at the working world millennials entered and what they watched their own families go through. Many millennials entered the workforce just before, during or slightly after the great recession. They also watched friends and family members who had dedicated years to companies lose their jobs.
With that background, millennials saw a working environment where joining a company and working your way up the ladder was no guarantee for success. In fact, many millennials took a series of entry-level roles or even unpaid internships to get in the door, but because of economic conditions, it was difficult to turn those into a career. With that kind of introduction to the working world, few people would easily develop loyalty for an employer. They had to look out for themselves.
That's where passion and purpose come in. Economic conditions put millennials in a position where it was difficult to develop a passion for an employer, but with a desire to work, they could develop passion for the work they do. If employers can tap into that, they can hold on to their millennial employees.
Empowering your employees with a purpose at work helps them envision a long-term future with your company. Social media has bred a culture of an endless search for happiness. If an organization is unable to map out a plan for employee advancement, or clearly highlight how they are a making positive change - younger workers will not see a clear reason to stay. Millennials need a strategic cocktail of altruism, direction, and meaning. Airbnb is a great example. The company’s rapid rise to fame was largely made possible by proliferating its brand purpose throughout all of its behavior. Which included embedding that mission into employee roles.