What do millennials REALLY want (in the workplace)?
When it comes to work ethic, no generation is more regularly denigrated than the millennials. Raised in a society of social media, fast food, and over-night shipping, it is often assumed that this generation is composed of needy, impatient, narcissists. However, this is a completely unfair generalization and often far from the truth. Having entered the job market at the height of the great recession, many of these young workers have come to terms with the harsh realities of the workplace and are more than happy to dedicate long hours to complex and difficult projects. It is just that the millennial’s picture of a perfect job has been colored by their dual experience of growing up in the digital age and entering the job market at such an uncertain time. Whereas security and a good future used to represent the ultimate goal of most workers, the millennials seems far more concerned with increased flexibility and personal fulfillment.
The following blog post discusses three things that workers hailing from the Millennial Generation simply cannot live without. If you operate a workplace that primarily employs these younger workers, this blogpost is for you.
A Socially Responsible Workplace
In a recent survey conducted by the Intelligence Group, it was indicated that a full 64% of Millennials consider “making the world a better place” one of their central work priorities. This is not surprising when you consider that millennials tend to occupy out sized roles in groups dedicated to climate change, animal welfare, and non-profits focused on the elimination of poverty. It appears that growing up ingesting the teachings of David Suzuki, PETA, and others, has turned the millennial generation into a cohort teeming with activists and game changers (although you wouldn’t think this by looking at their voting record). In short, if your company is dedicated to belching carbon dioxide into the ozone or requires the use of sweatshops in the third world, it might be difficult to hire the very best millennials. For this generation of workers, a company’s social advocacy can be as important as a solid pension plan and a promising future.
Flexible Work Schedules
In the same survey conducted by the Intelligence Group, it was indicated that 74% of millennials are interested in flexible work schedules. This result is also unsurprising. As the job market increasingly offers short-term contract positions, limited pension programs, and a general lack of security, millennials tend to broker deals where a lack of security in the long-term is supplemented by increased flexibility in the short. Further, if your work environment is project based then many millennials will enter your company expecting an elastic schedule that emphasises meeting deadlines as opposed to sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, five days a week for no good reason. Luckily, the advent of the cloud and the pervasiveness of laptops make it easy to accommodate workers looking for this type of work schedule.
A Collaborative Work Environment
Tellingly, the Intelligence Group survey further indicated that 88% of millennials prefer a collaborative work environment over a competitive one. This makes a lot of sense. Raised in an era where everyone was awarded participation ribbons merely for showing up to athletic events, millennials are slightly more averse than their baby boomer and x-generation peers to get ahead through duplicity. In essence, millennials wants to feel like they work within a team that is striving towards a single (hopefully socially advantageous) goal. This means that an integrated office environment that emphasizes departmental interaction will always be more attractive to members of the millennial generation than a workplace characterized by competitive factions organized into work silos. Open office doors, frequent production meetings, and the elimination of strong hierarchies can help this extremely social-generation feel more at home while at work. If you want to net the best that this generation has to offer, then hire a team that the very best are interested in working with.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful and encourage you to read more of our blog for additional tips and tricks for employers and job seekers.
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