Workplace Engagement During COVID-19

By July 3, 2020Blog, Research

Early this year International Consultants Centre (ICC) launched our groundbreaking research on
Generation Y in the workplace. We looked at what it takes to engage and retain Gen Y, aka millennials, and dispelled a few myths. If you missed it, you can take a look at some of the key takeaways.

In a few short months we’ve flipped the workplace on its head. Millennials are working in a very different context and we’re now looking at the study findings through a new lens. What does it mean to keep your Gen Y employees engaged and retained, now and post-COVID-19?

1. Flexibility

ICC’s study revealed that two thirds of millennials rate flexibility as important to job satisfaction (and more important than competitive salary). COVID-19 has given us all a chance to work differently, not because our workplace has changed its policies, but because it’s necessary right now. 

What does this mean right now?

The flexible working hours afforded by our physical distancing might be a good thing for your workplace, particularly your millennial team members.  What has your team learnt by working from home? When we transition back to face-to-face work, how can you maintain some of that flexibility? Identify the changes that had the greatest positive impact on your team members and make some of them permanent.

2. Career Development

Millennials want to discuss career development regularly with their manager. They say these discussions should happen every 1-3 months. With so much uncertainty right now it’s not always easy to know what career development opportunities lie ahead for your millennials. 

What does this mean right now?

The best thing to do right now is to be transparent. Let your team know about changes as they occur and communicate potential challenges transparently. It’s also a good idea to continue a regular conversation around career development, even if the opportunities for progression right now are small.

3. Challenge

Millennials like to be challenged, which is a hard balance to strike right now. Perhaps your team members have had their workload reduced or have been stood down, and it’s likely that they are not being challenged sufficiently. The opposite is also possible. If your workplace is now busier than ever, are your millennials at risk of being overloaded? 

What does this mean right now?

Have you asked your team how they are doing? Some millennials may need more work to fill their day. For others, the same level of productivity is just not possible at the moment. Talk to your team members to find out which applies to them, and find a way to support them accordingly.


ICC’s Australia-wide research investigates the motivations, expectations and preferences of Australian professionals born between 1981 and 1996. Our research focuses on the Australian professional workplace, providing organisations with data and insight that is directly applicable to engaging and retaining millennials in Australia.

If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to ICC for a chat about the study findings:


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