One in three working adults is now a millennial (between ages 18-34), making millennials the largest generation in the work force.

Millennials are characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit, high ambition, and bigger drive to move into leadership positions than previous generations, making them a great asset to your company. However, millennials lack the company loyalty of previous generations, with two-thirds believing that they will be with a new company before end-of-year 2020.

With most millennials already having one foot out the door of their current workplace, employers are faced with the challenge of either retaining talent, or else losing time and resources on constantly training new hires.

Why do millennials want to leave?

Though millennials hold over 20% of leadership roles in organizations, more than 60% say that their “leadership skills are not being fully developed,” and only one-quarter feel that their organizations are fully making use of the skills they have to offer.  This generation wants to feel that they have possibilities to move up in their organization, though they appreciate that they may not yet be ready, with only one-quarter feeling that they have adequate leadership skills upon college graduation.

Millennials place high value on leadership skills for career development, but they feel that their employers are overlooking their potential and not developing their skills to the fullest. Feeling neglected, millennials look elsewhere for career advancement: only 23% of disengaged high-potential employees stay in their organization. It is clear that organizations need to place higher focus on developing their talent in order to retain it.

So what do millennials want at work?

A 2018 report by Udemy on millennials in the workplace found that most millennials anticipate having between 2-5 jobs in their life, indicating that they don’t have a particular desire to job-hop. Instead, millennials want to see that they have a future with the company, that their employer recognizes and appreciates their skills, and that they have a chance to further develop their skills.  Simply put, millennials want to work with a company that invests time into Learning & Development.

Within the field of L&D, leadership skills are highly valued by millennials. Developing leadership skills may increase company loyalty, but how do you do this? Part of the problem is that while management can be taught, leadership cannot. Leadership is a trait that needs to be learned. It comes from experience and coaching, and skills that need to be practiced again and again. Leadership doesn’t come out of a classroom: it comes from experience.

How We Can Help

We’ve got hands-on tools that can help you engage, retain, and develop your talent.

Our High Potential programs support you in assessing and building your young talent’s skills.  Our team-based business simulations lie at the core of giving millennials real leadership experience. We do this by building participants’ experiences in days or weeks, that would otherwise take months or years to gain in the working world.

Retain your millennial talent by preparing them for leadership roles. Get in touch with us if you want to know more about how we have helped develop millions of leaders around the globe.


Feeney, Nolan. “Millennials Now Largest Generation in U.S. Labor Force.” Time, 11 May 2015,

“Udemy in Depth: 2018 Millennials At Work Report.” Udemy, 2018,

“2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.” Deloitte, 2016,