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Balancing Act: Keeping Millennial Workers Happy is Smart Business

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By Cindy Krischer Goodman

There are significant business reasons why employers should want millennials to stay and be happy. The millennial generation—people born between 1982 and 1993—numbers about 80 million in America, slightly larger than the baby boomer generation. By 2025, millennials, also known as Gen Y, will account for more than 75 percent of the global workforce.

Employee engagement, particularly when it comes to millennials, is a top priority for businesses, such as accounting firm Ernst & Young, where 60 percent of its employees are young workers. Karyn Twaronite, EY Americas inclusiveness officer, says her organization has taken a proactive approach to managing its increasing millennial population.

“We try to put in more formalized opportunities for networking and teaming inside and outside of the office,” Twaronite said. For example, the firm encourages community involvement by teams and puts younger workers on projects involving more experienced staffers so they can expand their networks and look for mentors.

Nikolai De Leo, 25, and a staff member in the transaction advisory services practice at EY in Miami, said the payoff is big when companies foster more social interaction. “If you get to know someone on a personal level, you’re more open to their ideas or anything they would teach you on the professional side.”

Those deeper relationships, he says, are what will keep him at the firm. “Liking the people you work with is huge.” He finds getting to know a manager on a personal level also allows him more opportunity to earn trust, and that pays off, too. “You can have the freedom to operate independently and have a better workplace balance once you gain their trust.”

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