The Millennials have all grown up, graduated from university, and started careers of their own. In fact, Millennials, a generation of people born between 1980 and mid-90s, are currently the largest generation in the workforce––comprising 35% of all employees. By 2030, that number will more than double to 75%.
Millennials have different expectations for their careers than their Gen X or Baby Boomer predecessors. They have different beliefs on how a workplace should function and use different values to determine what positions they might accept.
While a lot of Millennials are still at the beginning of their career, some have already moved into management or senior roles. This means they’re having more decision-making power in the workplace.
In order to successfully recruit millennials into positions across the board, you need to create an environment that accommodates their unique needs and preferences, not only in entry-level roles but also on managerial positions. Here are a few things you should know about millennials and how they function in the workplace.
- Millennials are the least engaged in the workplace.
- Millennials change jobs often.
- Millennials value flexibility and work-life balance.
- Millennials care about trust.
- Millennials value collaboration and teamwork.
- Millennials want competitive compensation––but it’s not their priority.
- Millennials find innovation important.
1. Millennials are the least engaged in the workplace.
Millennials often get a lot of slack for being “lazy”. However, the truth is, it just takes different methods to keep Millennials engaged in their work. Unfortunately, only 29% of Millennials are currently engaged at work––the lowest of the generations currently in the workforce.
This is most likely because their needs aren’t being met in the workplace. It’s important for employees to find new ways of engaging employees to keep them focused and working at top productivity.
Millennials want to know what they’re working towards accomplishing. A solid company-wide mission and vision statement that connects to the employee’s personal goals can be a great way to keep them invested in the organization’s success.
It’s also important to understand how Millennials are motivated. While Baby Boomers and older generations were motivated by getting higher paychecks and buying bigger houses, Millennials often want different life experiences. They value things like travel or their hobbies more than material things.
As an employer, you need to discover what your Millennial employees want to accomplish at work. When you can provide them with an environment they’re excited to be a part of, they’ll be more likely to stay engaged in the work they’re doing.
2. Millennials change jobs often.
The days of sticking with one company for decades is long gone. Millennials change jobs frequently, often working for up to 20 different companies over their lifetime.
For Millennials, applying to new jobs is the most efficient way to move up the corporate ladder. They often stay in one position for a few years––or in some cases, just a few months––before applying to something new.
Millennials job hop for a number of different reasons. While some may choose to accept a new position because of a higher salary or better benefits, many Millennials would be willing to take a pay cut for the “right” job.
As we already mentioned, Millennials are motivated by their hobbies and want to be involved with organizations doing work they believe in. In many ways, Millennials job hop in order to find a company that matches their values.
In order to retain Millennial employees, it’s important for organizations to hire individuals who’s values align with the company’s and are dedicated to the work they’re doing. However, you should also provide ample opportunities for continuing education and promotions to give millennial employees room to grow.
3. Millennials value flexibility and work-life balance.
Work-life balance is not a new topic, especially for Millennials. But because Millennials have grown up alongside technology, they understand how digital communication, platforms, and tools can make it easy to work remotely.
Millennials don’t believe they need to be in an office to get their work done. When asked how they would spend their time, Millennials said they would prefer to spend just over half of their work time in the office––about 10% lower than the response Baby Boomers gave.
Millennials are also not set to specific working hours. While the 9-5 work day is still relatively standard, Millennials are looking for opportunities that allow them to work when they’re most productive––even if that includes the middle of the night.
Younger generations also value remote work and flexible schedules because it allows them to live where they want, take advantage of their hobbies when it’s most convenient, and spend time with their friends and families.
While remote work and flexible schedules aren’t an option for everyone, providing even some work from home opportunities or the ability to start the workday early or late can go a long way. Work with your employee’s schedules rather than expecting them to always adhere to strict start and end times.
4. Millennials care about trust.
Older generations frequently came into work, did their job, and left. They didn’t put too much thought into the bigger picture of what the company was trying to accomplish or the conversations being had at the upper level. However, Millennials are much different.
Millennials care about trust and transparency. They want to know what decisions are being made and how the company is influenced by those choices. They don’t have time for office politics and they want to feel as if they’re a part of a team, even when they’re in an entry-level role.
The Millennial employees on your team want to have open and honest conversations about the work that they’re doing. They want to be consulted when appropriate and they want to feel like they have a voice within the company. These open conversations can also improve trust between teams and employees.
When employees trust the people they work with, they will have higher job satisfaction and are therefore more likely to stick around. This is particularly true when it comes to how much employees feel they can trust their managers or bosses.
Prioritize open and honest conversations with all employees. Make sure each individual understands their role in the company and feels comfortable and encouraged to share their feedback or input on how they can accomplish goals and work productively. Have frequent feedback sessions where both employees and their supervisors are able to share thoughts and opinions.
5. Millennials value collaboration and teamwork.
Despite their desire to work outside of the office, Millennials still value being a part of a team. They want to be able to collaborate with managers and peers in a timely and efficient way, regardless of where they’re working from.
However, Millennials aren’t just looking for more meetings. While they want to keep collaboration and communication open, they want to do so in ways that make sense and allow them to be as productive as possible. This can pose a challenge for older employees who may be used to phone calls or group meetings.
In order to attract and retain Millennial employees, it’s important to streamline communication and collaboration. This can be done by providing multiple outlets that allow employees to work together in whatever way works best for them, such as instant messaging tools, video chats, or shared folders for collaborating on projects and documents.
But it’s also important to consider your older employees. It will still be important for Millennials, Gen X employees and Baby Boomers to work together and collaborate. You’ll need to provide options that fit everyone’s needs, even if it means some individuals need to compromise.
You should also give Millennials opportunities to work with new coworkers and with different teams. By opening up collaboration between different departments or individuals, you can spark creativity and remove silos that may prevent employees from being as engaged as possible.
Make sure to adapt the management styles to what different generations are used to. 76% of Millennials said they enjoy working with older senior management, so setting up well-functioning intergenerational teams will result in greater creativity and productivity.
6. Millennials want competitive compensation––but it’s not their priority.
As we’ve already mentioned, Millennials usually aren’t driven by money. However, this doesn’t mean they’re willing to work for less than their worth. In fact, a compensation package can be a major determining factor when a millennial chooses a job.
But Millennials also look beyond just salary when considering compensation. They want benefits, perks, and personal development opportunities to incentivize them to accept a position. In many cases, a Millennial might accept a position with better perks and opportunities even if it means accepting a lower salary.
Offering a truly competitive benefits package can be challenging for smaller companies. Fortunately, there are other ways you can incentivize Millennials to work for your company with a more comprehensive compensation package.
Remote working opportunities, options to continue their education, or even company trips or events can be a great way to get Millennials excited about working for your company. Health and wellness packages, such as discounts at a gym or mental health days off, can also be appealing towards Millennials.
Make sure those opportunities align with your employee’s needs and values. Millennials will also expect benefit packages to be clear and easy to understand. Provide the right resources, training, and education about how employees can make the most of their benefits.
7. Millennials find innovation important.
Millennials have grown up alongside changing technology and they’ve seen how it’s changed the way they do things. They want to continue to see processes, systems, and even day-to-day activities transform––especially in the workplace.
Innovation is a powerful way to attract Millennial talent. By creating a completely digital application process, as well as using social platforms to help recruit talent, you can attract more Millennial candidates for your open positions.
Create a mobile-friendly career site so Millennials can find your open positions from any device. You should also make sure your application forms and pages are easy to fill out on smaller devices, including easy uploads for attachments.
Innovation should also be a part of your daily processes in the workplace. Your tech stack should be up-to-date and well thought out. If you’re using outdated tools or systems, it could push Millennial prospects away from your company.
When introducing new tools or processes, evaluate whether or not it really makes sense for your company. Adding new tech just for the sake of it won’t attract any new talent––and it will frustrate your current employees. However, try to stay on top of new tools and systems that are being utilized and introduce them to your teams whenever it makes sense.
78% of Millennial workers also said that access to the technology they like to use makes them more effective at work. Being an innovative employer can make your recruitment campaigns more efficient and your employees more productive.
A final word
It’s hard to lump a generation as large as the Millennials into one category, but they’ve all witnessed certain economic and social developments that have shaped their generation. Millennials have made both globalization and technology inherent in their lives, so they expect it in the workplace as well.
In order to recruit top Millennial talent, you need to understand their unique needs and tailor your recruiting and HR strategy to fit them. By providing your Millennial employees with ways to stay engaged in their work, compensation and perks that fit their lifestyle, and opportunities to learn and grow from their coworkers, you can develop an environment where Millennials can thrive.