Give Millennials What They Really Want

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By: Shawna Simcik

Give Millennials What They Really Want

Are you tired of hearing the same “generational” speech over and over again including, “what’s wrong with Gen Y”, “how do you communicate with Gen Y?” Me too! No one hates this topic more than me – a millennial. Yes, we are entitled, hungry for responsibility and are job hoppers, but let’s get some perspective. The millennials are coming…

According to Time, by 2020 Generation Y will be the largest demographic and by 2025 researchers are projecting that three out of every fourth worker, globally, will be a millennial.  Ah, this is the reason this speech is so commonplace, and why organizations should care about the expectations and demands of this generation.

Truth telling – there are so many stereotypes that surround the description of a millennial. Some are myths, misunderstandings and, of course, I am willing to admit that some of my peers do a respectable job of ensuring some of the stereotypes are proven true, but don’t be too quick to put everyone into the same box.

Rather than seeing the millennial population as fragile snowflakes who have an inflated sense of own uniqueness, let’s see this generation as a catalyst for change. This self-confidence and demand for bold requests are leading to radical changes in our work environments that will benefit the entire workforce.

There are three common characteristics that we can ascribe to the millennial population that impact our workplaces, including:

  • Want and expect constant feedback
  • Want training and development opportunities
  • Want to understand the bigger picture and how their individual contributions link to the mission of the organization

According to Glassdoor and numerous reputable resources, money doesn’t buy happiness. In fact, across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay – it’s culture, values and career opportunities. Following this trend, SHRM’s 2017 Employee Benefits survey reported that within the top ten benefits that Human Resources plan to introduce to retain and attract talent to their organization, includes mentoring, leadership coaching and cross-training to develop skills. In addition, the same survey underscored that organizations were focused on professional and career development to remain competitive in the talent marketplace.

So, let’s give the millennials what they want – room for growth, flexibility, development opportunities and a sense of purpose. Companies cannot afford to lose employees in a tight labor market. Challenge your thinking on the expectations of this demanding millennial population and in turn employees will desire to work for you.

 

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