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Intern Diaries: Providing Work That Matters to Retain Millennials

By Marie Wathen, Employee Benefits Communications Intern

clock August 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Marie_Wathen_h-1Marie Wathen is a junior at Hillsdale College studying History and Graphic Design. This summer, she worked at Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) as our Employee Benefits Communications Intern. This is part two of Marie Wathens 3-part blog series that provides tips on retaining Millennial employees.

You would think from watching movies like the Devil Wears Prada or Wall Street that Millennials are only interested in soul-sucking, drama-filled work. The truth is that we are drawn to diverse industries and locations and, while we are willing to pay our dues like the best of them, we want to know we have a future beyond making coffee and copies. First and foremost, we look for the opportunity to be part of something that matters.

Millennials want to work for companies that create positive societal change. The Deloitte Millennial Survey, which surveyed nearly 7,800 Millennials from 28 countries, found that “roughly three-quarters believe businesses have a positive overall impact on the wider society in which they operate.” Millennials are drawn to companies that will help them fulfill their potential by doing meaningful work.

Here are three ways you can engage Millennials in your company:

1. Support your local community. When considering this internship, I was impressed by MMA’s investment of time and resources to establish a foundation. To date, the Barney & Barney Foundation has raised over a million dollars for charitable non-profits. On top of monetary donations, MMA also supports hands-on community involvement by organizing events and granting 50/50 PTO for community service. I’m proud to be part of an organization whose employees come together to support their community.

2. Connect your company’s work to real needs. Share with your millennial employees why your products or services matter to your clients. In my experience, I was driven by the knowledge that MMA’s services can save our clients resources—time and money—and help them retain top employees, attract talent and ultimately grow their business.

3. Describe how specific projects contribute. Once your millennial employees understand the value of your company’s endeavors in general, the next step is to show them the significance of their contribution. My most fulfilling internship projects have been those that tangibly help MMA serve its clients and their employees. For example, I developed a marketing campaign for the new suite of employee benefits communications tools. Knowing our teams will use these materials to help clients motivated me to create the most cohesive and compelling message possible.

When building a workplace to attract and retain Millennials, remember our desire to be part of something that matters. Don’t underestimate the importance of supporting your community and sharing how Millennials contribute to valuable company offerings. Helping our company have a positive impact and knowing our contributions make a difference are things Millennials can get excited about, which ultimately keeps them engaged and driven to succeed.

Topics: Human Resources, Inside MMA

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