Millennial Report: Winning Talent Through Workplace Strategies


Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Consulting Group has released a report about the workplace preference of millennial employees. According to “Facing The Millennial Wave,” authored by Steve Zatta and Michael McDermott, despite the criticality of millennial’s to every company’s labor strategy, evidence indicates most still don’t know what it takes to attract and engage this generation.

Millennial statements. As millennial populations make different location choices within regions, this group is also choosing to locate in metropolitan areas that offer an appealing quality of life. A common belief is that this generation chooses a place to live based on quality of life factors first and job availability second. While this is probably overstated, hard data and casual observation have made it clear that certain metropolitan areas thrive due to their proximity to cultural attractions and employment.

The renewed emphasis on central business districts does not mean that suburban submarkets are dead. The merits of each submarket and its access to the professional millennial population will play a part in their future demand and relevance. The presence of city-like amenities such as public transportation, a mix of uses (retail, residential, etc.) and a walkable environment will continue to have a positive impact on submarkets.

Other findings of the study include the following:

  • San Francisco, Washington, DC, Brooklyn and Portland attract a larger share of highly educated millennials.
  • The concentration of young achiever millennials in creative hotbeds like Brooklyn and Silicon Valley are eight to 14 times the rest of the U.S. average.
  • 62 percent of millennials prefer to live in mixed-use communities within urban centers that have close proximity to a mix of shopping, restaurants and offices.
  • Young people aged 16 to 34 drove 23% fewer miles in 2009 than they did in 2001—a greater decline in driving than any other age group. Moreover, people aged 16 to 24 who have a driver’s license fell to 67 percent in 2011, its lowest in a half century.
  • Millennials already make up almost 40 percent of the workforce and will hit 75 percent by 2025.
  • Millennials thrive on competition, not just collaboration.
  • Millennials are experience hoppers, not job hoppers. Millennials don’t generally leave because they want to work at a new company. They leave because they desire new experiences and the opportunity for continuous learning and development.

“In a company’s leadership organization, real estate and facility managers have significant influence over two powerful employee value proposition and engagement drivers: the workplace environment and office location,” said McDermott. “If companies are to attract and retain millennials, they need to cut through all the noise and base their employee value proposition on a few fundamental millennial truths.”