Best Practices for Managing Millennials

According to Pew Research Center, more than one-in-three American workers are millennials, making up the largest share of the U.S. workforce. Businesses must understand the new set of career values and motivations this generation brings to the table and adjust management styles that will maximize millennial loyalty, engagement, and productivity.


Millennials look for businesses that have a purpose beyond making a profit. They’re drawn to companies that:

  1. Communicate greater vision and meaning
  2. Create a foundation of trust and integrity
  3. Treat employees and customers well
  4. Deliver quality products and/or services

Only 5% of millennials think profit-focused values ensure long-term success for a business


26% believe that employee satisfaction, fair treatment, and loyalty will result in long-term success


64% of CEOs say that corporate social responsibility is core to their business

When evaluating job opportunities, millennials rank a good work/life balance and opportunities to progress as the most important factors in their decision outside of salary. 78% of workers at Facebook1, 74% of workers at Apple1, and 72% of workers at Google1 believe that their work improves society.


It’s a commonly held belief that millennials are unlikely to stay at one job for long, but this is often due to insufficient professional development. Technology companies can encourage millennial retention by:

  1. Actively supporting leadership ambitions with career resources and development programs
  2. Providing mentors who are invested in their success instead of managers who take an authoritarian approach to hitting metrics
  3. Offering on-the-job training for hard skills like learning a new programming language or mastering a new tool
  4. Promoting intrapreneurship to help develop millennial leaders and drive product and process innovation
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63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed


94% of millennials who have a mentor say they receive good advice


91% say their mentor is interested in their personal development

In 2015, approximately 95% of SAS Institute employees participated in professional training, averaging 25 hours per full-time employee. Millennials intending to stay with an organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor.


Today’s organizational structures are shifting from traditional hierarchy to networks of small, agile teams. This new model requires businesses to focus on culture and engagement, enabling business units and teams of technical experts to closely collaborate and share information.

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76% of millennials report high levels of satisfaction where there is a creative, inclusive working culture, rather than a more authoritarian, rules-based approach


When considering human capital challenges, the #1 issue on leaders’ minds in 2016 was redesigning organizational structure to meet the demands of the workforce and today’s business climate

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Companies that embrace network-based business models grow faster, scale with lower marginal cost, generate the highest revenue multipliers


To attract and hold onto millennial talent, organizations need to answer these questions with a resounding ‘yes.’

  1. Can employees be proud of this company, what it stands for, and the way business is done?
  2. Is the work here fulfilling and enjoyable?
  3. Are employees empowered to reach their full potential?
  4. Are people prioritized and treated well here?

Understanding is the key to effectively managing the growing workforce of millennials. This generation of workers is most likely to remain with an organization that shares their values, has a sense of purpose, and supports professional development. To reduce turnover and increase millennial satisfaction, leaders should evaluate their company against these business values and identify areas where they may need to adapt.


1The discussion of specific companies in this document is not an endorsement of nor does it suggest an affiliation with these companies.

Vista Equity Partners Management, LLC (“Vista”) is an SEC registered adviser. This document is intended to provide general information regarding Vista’s private equity investing expertise and not for the purpose of soliciting investors for any Vista Fund. Under no circumstances should the information provided be considered an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy, any security. Such offer or solicitation may only be made to accredited investors and qualified purchasers pursuant to the current offering documents of the relevant Vista Fund. The information provided is strictly confidential and may not be reproduced or disseminated to any third parties without the written consent of Vista. The past performance of previous Vista Funds and portfolio companies is not necessarily indicative of future results. Investors in Vista Funds may lose investment capital. There can be no assurance that any future Vista Funds or portfolio companies will achieve comparable results. ©2018 Vista

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