Millennials Retention At Workplace

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Workplace fun can have positive individual and organizational implications. This research aims to determine what organization attributes attract, motivate and retain millennials in the workforce in Malaysia. Understanding what motivates millennials as well as how they perceive their employers and their colleagues, is essential in attracting and retaining them in an organization. High employee retention is important for companies as it saves money and time. According to Robertson, companies with low retention rates may spend up to 200% of a former employee’s salary to fill the position with a new employee (Robertson, 2017). The results of this research may benefit organizations by reducing turnover costs and time.


Millennials are those who were born between year 1981 till 1996 (Dimock, 2019). Like all generations, millennials are made up of a diverse group of individuals with difference preferences and opinions (Panetta, 2016). According to Gallup, an astounding 87 percent of employees worldwide are detached at work. Efficiency and ultimately profitability are often affected due to this motivational lagging (Crabtree, 2013). Retention of productive employees is a major concern of human resource professionals and business executive. Demographic data show that millennials are not going away anytime soon.

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In this research, four independent variables will be chosen as hypothesis to investigate in the study. The findings of the factors determining the retention of millennials provide insight into the ways to handling millennials at workplace.

According to Thompson and Gregory (2012), managers often categorize millennial employees into groups, portraying them as unmanageable employees. However, these same negative characteristics can also be the source of success in the work place if acknowledged and redirected.

According the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) in Year 2010, about 43 percent of the population was born between 1981 to 1996, who is from the millennial group.

Source: Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report 2010 by Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Official Portal

Based on the above statistics, among the working age group (from 15 years old to 64 years old), about 67 percent consist of millennials. Companies are becoming increasingly reliant on millennials as this generation continues to saturate the workforce (Copra, 2018).

1.1 Background of Research Study

Millennials began entering the workforce since 1998 (Simmons, 2016). The percentage of in the workforce will continue to grow. Business leaders may need to change their style in order to ensure that the millennials remain within an organization (Jen-Te Yang, 2012). For the millennial generation, keeping employees may require more strategies that previous generation, the Generation X and Baby Boomers, as they were more loyal to their organizations and dominated the job market for an extensive amount of time (Gregory, 2012)

1.2 Research Problem

Employee retention is a worldwide controversial issue (Kowske, Rasch, & Willey, 2010). Organizations endeavour to attract and reserve talented employees to guarantee effective leadership in the future (Cliffe, 1998; Menefee & Murphy, 2004). The main challenge for most of the businesses is to obtain the appropriate millennial employee, putting it at the most suitable status and reserving the employee for a long period of time (Samal, 2014).

1.3 Research Aim

The purpose of this study is to aim to uncover millennial generation perceptions on employment and ways to retain them in organizations for more than three years. The centre research question for this study will be in regard to the strategies and methods required for business leaders in order to implement to motivate and retail millennial employees for more than three years.

This study may have an impact on business practices because it may provide business leaders with effective strategies on how to retain millennial employees. Considering that millennials will be largest group of individuals in the workforce (Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2010), there is an essential need for organizations to learn how to motivate and retain this generation.

1.4 Research Objective

  • (1) The objective of the research is to investigate:
    • (i) Research Objective 1 (RO1) – The impact of work life balance (IV1) and employee retention among millennials (DV)
    • (ii) Research Objective 2 (RO2) – The impact of leadership in organizations (IV2) and employee retention among millennials (DV)
    • (iii) Research Objective 3 (RO3) – The impact of innovation (IV3) and employee retention among millennials (DV)
    • (iv) Research Objective 4 (RO4) – The impact of training and development (IV4) and employee retention among millennials (DV).
    • (v) Research Objective 5 (RO5) – The impact of independent variable (work life balance, communication, empowerment and training and development) has a greater influence on employee retention among millennials
  • (2) The study predicts their relative significance. The hypothesis which are proposed in the study:
    • (i) H1 – There is an association and significant relationship between work life balance and millennial retention
    • (ii) H2 – There is an association and significate relationship between leadership in organization and millennial retention
    • (iii) H3 – There an association and significant relationship between innovation of millennials and their retention
    • (iv) H4 – There is an association and significant relationship between training and development and millennial retention

1.5 Research Questions

The research questions will comprise of two parts. First part contains the demographic information of the respondent. The information which will be required in this part is the profile of the respondents such as the age, gender, level of education, position, years of experience, marital status, salary and number of changed job.

In the second part of the questionnaire will concentrate on the four independent variable along with a dependent variable in the study. A five-point like scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree) will be used to collect data from the respondents.

1.6 Significance of Study

Employee retention is important for any organization that is looking for stability and growth. High employee turnover is not only expensive but can also negatively affect the culture and overall environment of an organization. With millennials being the largest generation represented in today’s workforce, it’s important to identify the ways to retain millennials in organizations (Pollak, 2016).

2 Literature Review

2.1 Dependent Variable – Millennial Retention at Workforce

A main challenge for an organization is holding on to proficient employees. Millennials are known to change jobs and move companies frequently in search of everything from deeper meaning to greater flexibility to better compensation. This makes frequent turnover on ongoing reality and employee retention becomes a top priority for organizations everywhere (Jenetta, 2016). The loyalty among millennials have faded from the 1980s, as they are taught to look out for themselves (Siletto, 2018).

2.2 Independent Variable (IV1) – Work Life Balance

Work life balance involves balancing career demands with personal and family needs (Gupta, 2010). Work life balance is becoming an important factor for millennials Flexible working policy in organization help the millennial to balance their work and personal life and hence increase their retention. Job retention is positively associated with the organization’s promotion of work life balance (Smith, 2005).

2.3 Independent Variable (IV1) – Leadership

Having a good relationship with their superiors is important for millennials. For millennials, being able to see their superiors as someone they can look up to and learn from is important (Cahill, Fache and Sedrak, 2012). They do not like to be micro-managed. They like to work with someone who shares their values, humorous in nature, and make themselves available as a trusted advisor and resource (Gupta, 2010). A positive relationship between supervisor and employee, a relationship based on mutual beneficial behaviours, is negatively associated with turnover (Erturk and Vurgun, 2015).

2.4 Independent Variable (IV1) – Innovation

The world that millennials are familiar with is one of vast technological improvements (Lou, 2017). Millennials want to create and they want to be recognized for their ideas and the companies willing to support these initiatives are going to have the most success. According to Deloitte Millennial survey, if given the choice, about 25% of millennials would leave his or her current organization to join a new organization in order to do something different and more innovative (Delloitte, 2018).

2.5 Independent Variable (IV1) – Training and Development

Millennials being in fast pace mindset, want themselves to bridge the gap between the present and desired performance level the soonest (Gupta, 2010). In that case and in order to enhance their performance, they are required to be sent for adequate training (Garg and Rostogi, 2006). Providing training and development is one of the important factors associated with employee turnover.

2.6 Literature Review Summary

All the four independent variables, which are work life balance, a good leadership, an adequate innovation and proper training and development have positive impact to employee retention among millennials in organization. Should any of these independent variables drop, the employee retention which is the dependent variable will drop in tandem.

2.7 Research Model

The research model shows how the independent variables (work life balance, leadership, innovation and training and development) affect the dependent variable (employee retention among millennials.

3 Research Methodology

3.1 Research Methodology Overview

A cross-sectional study will be done for this research. Under this study, it compares different population collected for this research (IJ & H., 1991). By this we, comparison can be done to see how people from different age, gender, income and educational level provide feedback about retention of millennials at workplace. Although the longitudinal study will be more appropriate for this research, the limitation in time has become a drawback factor (Payne & Payne, 2004).

3.2 Research Design

Quantitative research involves an attempt to understand the perceptions of a phenomenon based on participants’ experience through an in-depth review of the research topic (Elkatawneh, 2016). It will address the relationship between variables and include many participants to confirm or disconfirm hypothesis (Slutsky, 2014). As part of the survey, structured interviews will both millennials and human resource managers of organizations will be conducted (Doeswijk, 2011).

A qualitative method would be good for this research, as it could determine the millennials and the employers’ views on the retention strategies of millennials at workforce (DeFranzo, 2011). Despite its importance in research, a quantitative study was done due to it limited resources, mainly time period.

3.3 Data Collection Method

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program will be used to conduct data analysis and determine how reliability for each variable in the study. With this, the study can have a better understanding on the factors of talent retention among millennials in organizations. Graphs will be tabulated for easy interpretation and understanding of readers (Sridhar, 2018).

3.4 Sampling Process

In this case study, random sampling method will be used. This method allows the sampling error to be calculated and reduces selection bias. One of the advantages of the random sampling method is that it is a straightforward method of probability sampling. The sample will be from the state of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in Malaysia.

3.5 Data Analysis

A quantitative method will be used for this research. It will analyse the interpret figures and numbers from the results of the survey. Thereafter, the researcher will find the rationale behind the emergence of the findings.

3.6 Research Methodology Summary

From this study, the researcher is intending to show how to the retain millennial in the present workforce. Based on the past research, some of the independent variables which impact the retention of millennials at their job are work life balance, good leadership, innovation and adequate training and development. In this study, the researcher will further emphasis how these four independents play a major role in determining the dependent.

4 Conclusion

Attracting and retaining talented employees is one of the biggest components of running a successful business. In order to attract talented millennial employees, business leaders will need to foster an environment that is fun, stimulating and innovative (Patel, 2018).

Creating a mission statement geared toward solving social issues through technological innovation and training managers to provide regular and personalized feedback can be good ways to motivate millennial employees.

The millennial generation of employees will grow until they make up approximately 25% of the workforce (Murphy, 2012). Due to the percentage, this generation will be of the population; it is essential for organizations to take into consideration, create, and maintain strategies and methods that can retain Millennials. Leaders must assess and manage generational differences as strategies that will utilize all members of the organization especially millennials (Hendricks & Cope, 2012).


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