Now, you may be thinking, “aren’t millennials working?” And the answer is yes, they are. In fact, the workforce is continuing to take on millennial workers, with approximately 42% of them making up the U.S. workforce. However, they’re not like past employees such as the baby boomers or generation X. As millennials continue to join the workforce, it’s becoming more clear that millennials aren’t sticking to their jobs. But why is this? Well, it’s actually a composition of many things. See, first of all, millennials, in general, are more vocal than previous generations when it comes to dissatisfaction in the workplace. In addition, millennials have completely different expectations in comparison to older generations. As the workforce brings millennials into the workforce, businesses are struggling to find the balance in managing millennials. In fact, it’s clear that businesses still haven’t managed to grab the attention of millennials as a Gallup study found that 21% of millennials jump from job to job within the past year. Though these numbers seem minimal, in 2025, millennials will make up around 75% of the workforce. Which means that businesses need to switch up their traditional models if they’re considering of still keeping afloat. And, as older generations enter into retirement, companies cannot rely on those generations in order to keep the traditional workplace methods in function. Instead, they need to accept that the traditional management methods used are going to kill their businesses as millennials will avoid these workplaces like the plague.
But, in order for businesses to change their traditional management methods, they need to know what millennials are looking for in an ideal workplace environment. If they don’t figure out what millennials want, then the struggle to retain millennial employees will only worsen. But, what do millennials actually want? Well, Brookings research found that there are some key values, which millennials are looking for in their future employer:
- Interest in their daily work and have their work reflect on society.
- A company which acts on social responsibility, ethical causes – showing solutions to social problems.
- A greater respect for the environment and action needed to reduce environmental pollution.
- Emphasis on the importance of experiences rather than material goods.
- Positively affect the communities around them.
As you can see, the Millennial frame-of-mind differs greatly than of baby boomers and Generation X. If looking at a Millennial’s resume, though they may have used resume templates to create it, the content within the resume is much different than other generations. Most Millennials will have a volunteer experience whereas older generations were typically less active in their communities. Older generations were concerned about pensions and health benefits, however, though they aren’t ignored by Millennials, they’re not a major focus. Instead, Millennials are interested in having their work create a positive impact on society and be fulfilling for them.
Though the knowledge of what Millennials are looking for in the workplace is accessible by companies, they still struggle with meeting those needs. This is because the needs of Millennials are dramatically different than the needs of older generations such as baby boomers. Changing the traditional workplace model isn’t as easy as some believe it is while still keeping your company profitable. Older generations were focused on finding a work/life balance, however, Millennials are focused on work/life integration. Though Millennials understand that working is a necessity, they don’t want to spend their life sitting at a desk, mindlessly pressing buttons.
So, how do companies use this information to improve the workplace for Millennials? Well, there are a couple things companies can do in order to retain Millennials. Firstly, they can focus on creating a positive workplace environment. This doesn’t just mean writing it in the handbook, this means companies will have to actively work on this by providing employees with support.
Secondly, Millennials want to work for a good company. The fact that they’re visibly having an impact on society makes them want to go to work every day.
Thirdly, Millennials want to excel in their career. With upper management showing personal interest and providing constructive feedback is what keeps Millennials excelling. Remember, Millennials want to work in an environment which is positive and supportive. If they feel valued then why would they leave?
Lastly, companies can offer their employees flexible work schedules. Though many Millennials freelance, many prefer the idea of having a stable and secure job as well. Thus, they’ll always opt to work for a company. However, Millenials don’t want to sit at their desk from 9 to 5. They’d rather be given the option to choose their schedules, thus, allowing them to take more control of how they’ll spend their time.
Though this may seem like a large demand, the fact of the matter is that Millennials will soon be the majority of the workforce, meaning, their voices matter. Though they enjoy money just like everyone else, a fat pay cheque will not sway their core values, nor will it make companies more productive. There are some things that even money can’t buy.
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