How Promoting Intrapreneurship to Millennials Generates Growth and Innovation

Three years ago, a major milestone was marked when, in 2015, millennials became the largest segment of the workforce. By 2025, it is estimated that 75 percent of all employees will be millennials. Why does this matter? Because millennials think differently, respond differently and view their employment goals much differently than any other generation before them.

Unfortunately, many companies have not yet taken these differences into consideration and employee engagement is hitting an all-time low, with only 29 percent of millennials reporting that they are engaged at work. Why is lower engagement an issue? Disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity. These low engagement numbers are leading to significantly lower retention rates. Only 31 percent of millennials see themselves staying with their current employer beyond five years, and about 62 percent of all millennials leave their company within two years of being hired.

Entrepreneurs looking to hire can make an immediate impact and shift these statistics in their favor by embracing and supporting what millennials expect from an employer. Millennials will dedicate their futures to companies that stake their confidence in and allocate resources to them.

Below is an excerpt from “A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur,” about helping managers establish and promote intrapreneurship in their organizations, which will help them generate new business growth and support innovation, as well as accelerate and manage change as the workplace adapts to address the needs and desires of millennial employees.

Related: 5 Books Every Millennial Business Owner Must Read for Success

Anticipating millennials’ aspirations

Establishing your company vision is just the first step. The second step is bringing the vision to fruition — setting goals. Identifying the characteristics of the millennials that will help you achieve those goals is the third step, and it’s a continuing journey. With your vision in sight, building your team isn’t the end. Ensuring you’ve created a captivating and engaging work experience makes your team more attractive to intrapreneurs and increases retention rates, as well. That’s the journey — that’s the ultimate goal. It is of no value to hire or select team members who possess the ability to innovate and drive your company forward if you do not offer an environment that encourages loyalty.

And, right now, many companies are failing dramatically at encouraging loyalty by not even scaling step one. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial study, two-thirds of millennials expressed a desire to leave their organization by 2020. This is really a pretty disturbing statistic when you think about the effect on your company in terms of time and financial cost. This could constitute a financial burden from which your department or company might not be able to easily recover.

What is even more discouraging is that this situation is completely preventable!

So is all hope lost? Do you just need to resign yourself to the fact that your department will need to dramatically increase the recruiting line item in your budget? No, not at all!

According to a Deloitte 2016 survey of nearly 7,700 full-time employed millennials, 22 percent did cite financial benefits as the number one driver for selecting a job. But this is actually less than a fourth of the entire group of survey respondents!

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Even if your company is offering a relatively competitive financial package, money alone will not point millennial intrapreneurs in the direction of your organization.

Offering a work environment that incorporates these other millennial “must-haves” (including work life balance, upward mobility, flexibility and professional development) will help you will help you to be more successful than your competition in securing and retaining intrapreneurs.

“A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur” is available now at fine booksellers and can be purchased via

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