September 18, 2018

The 25 best employers for millennial workers—and how you can become one

Daily Briefing

    By Jackie Kimmell, Senior Analyst

    The job posting and review platform Indeed recently released its list of the top 25 companies for millennial workers, and two health systems made the list.

    For the list, Indeed analyzed over 72 million ratings and reviews and listed the companies that scored the highest in overall ratings by millennials over the past two years.

    The health care-related companies named to the list include:

    3. Kaiser Permanente;*

    6. Apple;

    7. Pfizer Inc.;*

    11. Microsoft;*

    12. Mayo Clinic;* and

    19. Amgen.

    * denotes health systems and companies that are Advisory Board members.

    While many of these companies are quite different in size, reach, culture and industry, Indeed noted they share important common features. And many of these features reflected what the Advisory Board has found to be best practice with millennials in its research.

    Three ways to engage millennials—and the tools to help

    Millennials are now the largest generation in the labor force, making up 35% of total participants. But many companies are still struggling with the most effective ways to both recruit and retain millennial workers: A Gallup poll found that 60% of millennials are open to or looking for new employment opportunities, a figure 15% higher than non-millennial workers.

    Yet this turnover is avoidable. Research has found that millennials who are engaged are actually more likely to be loyal to their employer down the line. Those who say they work at a great place are 20 times more likely than peers who don't like their company to stay there, compared with 15 times for Gen X and 9 times for baby boomers.

    The secret to engaging millennials is making them feel that their job is leading them down a future path to success, serves a higher mission, and meets their workplace needs. More specifically, our research has found three key ways to engage millennials:

    1. Give millennials a clear path and opportunities for future growth

    In a 2016 Gallup poll, millennials said the "opportunity to learn and grow" was the top attribute they were looking for in their job. But what's the most cost-effective way to invest in staff's professional growth?

    Advisory Board's Nursing Executive Center interviewed leaders at hospitals around the country last year and discovered many successful strategies. For example, Miami Valley Hospital hosts regular 'speed mentoring' events where the organization's leaders answer questions from frontline staff about their professional experiences and career paths. This helps to both make new staff feel like the organization in investing in their growth, as well as showcase long-term career paths.

    Baptist Health Lexington discovered that managers often didn't have the time or experience to help new hires with career pathing, so they hired an on-call career counselor to meet with new staff. They saw an 11% decrease in nurse turnover in one year and found a remarkable ROI: The annual career coach-related expenses were only around $4,000, compared with the $90,000 average cost due to one nurse's departure.

    To learn more about these strategies, including a guide to speed mentoring and several sample career coach job descriptions, view the resources under step three on our page about how to Win Millennials' Loyalty.

    View the Resource

    2. Help millennial workers see the mission of the organization

    In Advisory Board's engagement survey, the top driver of millennial engagement organization was believing in the organization's mission. Millennials consistently say that they are disillusioned with the profit focus of many businesses, and they want to ensure that their work—and the work of the organization—has a meaningful impact.

    To directly connect millennials to the institution's mission, many organizations have used patient experience sharing—where patients present their experience receiving care at the organization. This can be done with both clinical and non-clinical staff regularly, and can have a large influence on keeping the organizational mission salient.

    To learn more about these tactics, including checklists for preparing and tips to make sure they happen smoothly, look at the "contribution to mission" section of the Manager's Guide to Engaging Staff.

    Get the Tactics

    3. Tailor perks and wellness initiatives to what millennial staff actually desire

    While many companies believe that millennials want showy workplace benefits such as free snacks, travel privileges and hip décor, surveys have shown that millennials consistently rate traditional workplace perks like strong health care benefits and wellness programs as highly important to their engagement. 

    The secret to making sure that these wellness programs actually impact engagement is to ensure that they are highly personalized to the needs and desires of each specific group of workers. For instance, Palmetto Health, a five-hospital health system headquartered in South Carolina, recently revamped their wellness program, unveiling a new organization-wide initiative called Wellness at Work. They created an online portal allowing any employee in any department to submit an application to join the initiative. Then, each participating department took an assessment to look at the health of the department, their demographics, and the employees needs and preferences. The program's leaders them compiled a list of suggested wellness interventions tied specifically to each department.

    This initiative uncovered that different departments had very different desires in their wellness initiatives. The diagnostic imaging group, for instance, wanted a program to connect them more directly to seeing patient care. The marketing department, on the other hand, wanted more sanctioned break times where they could exercise. This allowed all employees to have wellness programs matched to their needs.

    To learn more about this initiative and other ways to manage stress and burnout among both new and tenured staff, view our presentation (and download the slide deck) on how to Support Frontline Staff Where They Are.

    Download the Slide Deck

    Finally, to learn much more about what our research has found about how to attract and retain millennials, make sure you look at all of our best practices and resources related to how to Win Millennials' Loyalty.

    Access the Best Practices

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