How are Millennials Transforming Corporate Culture?

02/16/2016 05:24 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2017

Think millennials have over-inflated egos? Well, that may actually be a survival strategy in this new world of work.

As companies come and go and change direction much more rapidly than in previous decades, those aged 18 to 34 face an uncertain job market, says organizational development expert Jessica Geist.

Millennials aren't looking at pensions after 30 years of employment at one firm. "So these younger generations don't have the same loyalty to companies, but they do have a stronger belief of sense of self -- what they can accomplish," Geist says. "Because they know that the company may not always be there. But they will."

Millennials are hopping from job to job. But what does it take to retain one?

That's what employers are having to consider, as millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the U.S. work force last year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Replacing a worker who leaves can be expensive. It costs a minimum of $100,000 at auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, says PwC human capital transformation leader, Anne Donovan.

As the U.S. shifted from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy, the workplace changed as well. Experts say millennials now expect a job environment in stark contrast to the command and control ways of the past.

"The work force that used to be based on machines is now based on human minds, human creativity, human capability," Geist says. Thus, there is no longer such a clear divide between what you do and who you are.

"I'm not just consultant. This is who I am, this is what I do, this is the value I bring to the world," Geist says. "Its really hard for people who are millennials to really break and change sometimes, because they're literally reforming and re-crafting their vision of themselves, not just the work they do."

Watch the video above to find out how some companies are empowering this young workforce.