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Recently I saw an ad for a company that was advertising for people to work in their manufacturing facility and they advertised that they have “pizza every Friday.”  Then I see an ad that talks about “ping pong.”  Is this employee retention speaker and employee retention author losing his mind?  Is this what the millennials value out of work?  Are they that shallow?  Or, are these employers naive and uninformed?  Perhaps I give the millennials a lot more credit than other employers and think that they actually want things that are more important than just pizza and ping pong.

Although a lot of things are said about the millennials, I see this group of young people as serious in their own way, hard working but with a different sense of what work should be and willing to listen as much as we baby boomers were when we were their age.  In some ways, many of the baby boomers I worked with were real slackers.  They wanted to do the bare minimum, wanted the union to protect them and now think about early retirement.  Maybe I give these young people more credit than I should, but I see tremendous potential in them.

If I were a millennial, I would be insulted.  Do they have that little respect for them that they think that they can be bought off by ping pong and pizza?  Sure, those are “nice touches” but that is not what most millennials I know want.  This employee retention trainer sees a group of people that generally want a place that treats them with respect, cares about them as individuals, treats them fairly and tells them when they do a good job.  That’s not too much to ask from any employer.  Yes, some can be unrealistic in expectations but, frankly, so is virtually every young person no matter which generation they came from.  You tend to be incredibly optimistic and think you can change things when you’re are 22 years old.  That’s not a bad thing.+

If you want to retain millennial employees you have to focus on fundamentals like C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise) and other fundamentals I point out in my book “Give Your Employees C.R.A.P…and 7 other Secrets to Employee Retention.”  Although ping pong and pizza are “nice to have” they are not what is going to attract and retain the current generation.  It’s time we stop deceiving ourselves and focus on what matters.