It’s no secret: Millennial generation workers frequently change jobs and some will only stay with a company a year or two before moving on.

To get a leg up on retaining their best and brightest younger workers, many Garden State businesses are making changes.

According to Michele Siekerka, the president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, “Millennials are looking for a different type of work environment than the generation before them. They’re attracted to work environments that have a little bit more of that social aspect to it.”

She noted it’s not uncommon to go into a work environment these days where “you find a lot of Millennials wearing jeans and jackets. They’re maybe bringing their pets to work, you’ve got on-site cafes, a basketball court, things like that.”

“They’re looking for a more open, dynamic working environment where they can collaborate and share ideas, come up with the best new idea.”

Siekerka pointed out this means fewer private or closed-door offices..

“It’s an entire floor of open desks and seating and then there’s huddle areas and brain-storming rooms.”

Siekerka said offering financial bonuses to attract top Millennial talent is important. But there's more to it than that.

“I would suggest, however, that with the Millennial generation it’s more about a company that’s mission driven. This generation is much more about mission than money,” she said.

As a result, Siekerka suggests companies should try to connect their Millennial workers with the local community, philanthropic causes and “whatever the mission of the organization is. Let that be known in the environment because this generation gravitates to mission.”

She noted this changeover for some businesses is somewhat challenging.

“You actually have four generations in the workplace, and no one is to suggest that it’s easy to see how all those different generations get along,” she said.

Siekerka added many Baby Boomers seem to be getting a new kind of energy from their Millennial generation co-workers.

“At first they were fighting it and all of a sudden they’re looking and going, 'Yeah, I’m a little jealous. I think I want to get into my jeans and jacket as well.'”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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