The Future of Work: What do Millennials Really Look for in their Employer?

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The Future of Work: What do Millennials Really Look for in their Employer?

By: Megan Kirsch

Millennial, Generation Y… there are often unfavorable connotations attached to these words. However, the truth of the  matter is, the negative stereotypes surrounding this generation are more often than not, inaccurate. According to TIME, by next year, Generation Y will be the largest working demographic and by 2025, researchers are projecting that three out of every four workers, globally, will be a millennial. So, let’s take a sneak peek at what you can expect from this trailblazing generation, and what they are really looking for in their employers:

  • All the feedback. The phrase “no news is good news” doesn’t really suit this group of workers. They want to feel and know confidently what they are doing is actually making a difference in their organizations and out in the world. This doesn’t mean they need to hear feedback every day around the clock, but if there is an area for improvement, it’s likely that they don’t want to hear about it months later during their annual review. Having regular check-ins with your direct report twice a month is a great way to make sure they are on track with achieving their individual goals, while keeping in alignment with the organization’s overarching objectives.
  • Be my guide. While millennials get a bad rep for job hopping, it’s not always because they are bored, or ready to move on to the next “best thing” with one foot out the door.  Often, job hopping happens because of unclear role expectations, the lack of challenging work, or muddied waters surrounding their career pathway and future within the company. Setting clear and concise role expectations with a distinct direction in which they could take their career within the organization is a great way to start on the right foot with Generation Y. 
  • The more flexibility, the better.  For many, perks such as  untracked vacation, working from home, and stipends towards gym memberships are more important than a higher dollar figure included in their compensation package. With communication channels such as Slack, HipChat, and Basecamp, millennials have more opportunities than ever to stay connected with their colleagues and work more flexible hours. Being transparent on what flexibility looks like in your organization can ultimately attract and retain the right employees for your company and culture.
  • Integration – not balance. One of the common myths of this generation is that they aren’t willing to work hard for what they ask out of their employers. However, according to a study conducted by Randstadt, 42% of employees feel the need to check in with work while on vacation, and are simultaneously the most likely among their predecessors to feel guilty for using all their vacation days. This pioneering generation has made it clear that work-life balance is taking a back seat, and integration has taken its place. This means that “turning off” has become even more of a challenge, leading to more frequent career burnouts in the workplace. So, the next time an employee asks for a mental health day, be mindful of your response.  Take note that they are more likely to return with higher levels of engagement and productivity, which can ultimately have a positive impact on the bottom line of the business.

How has your organization adapted to this changing working landscape? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below!

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