Sixty-six percent of Millennials expect to leave their organization by the end of 2020, and only 16 percent of Millennials see themselves with their current employers a decade from now. 

One of the greatest talent challenges facing employers is engaging the Millennial generation, who recently became the largest share of the U.S. labor market. The absence of Millennial loyalty and engagement represents a serious threat to the longevity of any business.

In Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey, it collected the views of nearly 7,700 Millennials representing 29 countries. All participants were born after 1982, had obtained a college or university degree, were employed full time, and predominantly worked in large (100-plus workers) private-sector organizations. The survey had a focus on Millennials' values and ambitions, their drivers of job satisfaction, and their increasing representation on senior management teams. 

Why are Millennials leaving organizations?

Lack of leadership development and flexibility are the causes.

The primary factor contributing to the decline of Millennial loyalty is their belief that businesses are not doing enough to bridge the gap to ensure a new generation of business leaders is created. Millennials feel underutilized and believe they're not being developed as leaders.

  • Sixty-three percent of Millennials believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed, and yet the No. 1 driver for Millennials when evaluating job opportunities is the ability to progress and take on leadership roles.
  • Only 24 percent of Millennials are "very satisfied" with the learning opportunities and professional development programs at work. 

The secondary factor contributing to Millennials' leaving organizations is the lack of workplace flexibility. 

  • Eighty-eight percent of Millennials wish they could have greater opportunity to start and finish work at the times they choose.
  • Seventy-five percent of Millennials would like to start to, or more frequently, work from home or other locations where they feel more productive; only 43 percent currently do so.

How are Millennials kept from leaving an organization?

According to Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey, there are three key actions to ensure an organization can retain Millennials.

1. Identify, understand, and align with Millennials' values.

Millennials intending to stay with their organization for at least five years are far more likely than others to report a positive culture and a focus on the needs of the individual. Millennials believe the most important values a business should follow for long-term success are putting employees first and have a solid foundation of trust and integrity.

Millennials choose employers whose values reflect their own. Fifty-six percent of Millennials have "ruled out ever working for a particular organization because of its values or standard of conduct." 

Millennials choose employers who demonstrate a strong sense of company purpose beyond financial success. Eighty-seven percent of Millennials believe that "the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance."

2. Satisfy the demands Millennials have of employers.

Beyond pay and financial benefits (which drive Millennials' choice of an organization more than anything else), the most important drivers of employer choice for Millennials are: work-life balance; opportunities to progress/be leaders; flexibility, i.e. remote working and flexible hours; sense of meaning from work; and professional development training programs.

Millennials report high levels of employee satisfaction when the following aspects exist: open and free-flowing communication, a culture of mutual support and tolerance, a strong sense of purpose beyond financial success, active encouragement of ideas among all employees, strong commitment to equality and inclusiveness, and support and understanding of the ambitions of younger employees.

3. Support Millennials' ambitions and professional development.

Millennials would like to increase the time devoted to leadership skills development from 2.7 to 4.5 hours a week--an increase of two-thirds. Millennials demonstrate more loyalty when there is an emphasis on leadership development.

Sixty-eight percent of Millennials who are likely to stay more than five years with a company agree that they have support/training widely available to progress in leadership roles. Make training and development support widely available.

Millennials intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68 percent) than not (32 percent). Encouraging mentorship promotes loyalty.

Looking for a proven and effective way to offer leadership development for your Millennial work force? Check out 21Mill, the first ever micro-learning platform designed specifically to develop Millennials. (Full disclosure: I am a proud partner of 21Mill.)