Last week, we looked at what tech-related incentives organizations can use to attract millennial talent. Perks also play a critical role in retaining Gen Y workers — a difficult proposition given the cohort's reputation for seeking greener pastures.

It's going to take more than catered meals and ping-pong tables to incentivize younger workers to stay long-term. IT executives must always try to remember: Organizations must demonstrate their own IT inclinations and pay attention to the perks their candidates desire.

Here are two substantial perks that can increase staff loyalty and even enhance an organization's productivity along the way.

  • State-of-the-art training: According to CompTIA's "Generational Research on Technology and its Impact in the Workplace" study, nearly half of 20- to 29-year-olds feel that the training offered by their employers makes them less likely to leave. Company-provided training isn't a revolutionary perk, but with a few modern adjustments, it can be. For instance, more than a third of employees have participated in e-learning training programs, but Gen Y employees still feel that more e-learning opportunities would improve their companies' development programs. Younger workers are also more likely than any other age group to want more mobile, social and gaming elements integrated into training.
  • Career advancement: Millennials appreciate knowing that there is more than one fixed track for progressing within an organization. Tailoring career roadmaps based on employees' unique professional and personal goals shows a willingness to invest in their future. Given the high costs of acquiring new talent, especially for technical roles, offering a broad range of advancement opportunities is smart business sense. Through consistent mentorship or soft skills training, employers can support staff and prevent internal skills gaps at the same time.

Millennials are eager to learn, and they'll go where the opportunities are (even if that means leaving their current organizations). To retain top Gen Y talent, firms must provide venues for both flexible professional development and career advancement. Done right, these perks mutually benefit millennials and their employers, cultivating employee skills and enhancing business productivity.

How do you provide millennials with both flexible professional development and career advancement? How do you retain Gen Y workers in your organization?