Millennials are a unique generation. They’re the first to grow up with the internet and have had access to technology their entire lives. While they are known to be tech-savvy, they also have very different values than previous generations.
The millennial generation is a unique, confident, and career-driven cohort that has grown up in a time of unprecedented change. They are also the driving force behind many of those changes.
There are plenty of opinions on what millennials want and expect in the workplace. Millennials indeed have different values than their predecessors, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be managed effectively. In fact, according to a study by The Center for Generational Kinetics, millennials value many things in their workplace — something that can make or break their experience as employees.
Let’s look at some of the most important values millennials hold dear so that employers and managers can better understand how to bring out their best at work.
1. A Clear Purpose
Millennials want a sense of purpose in their work and life. They want to know what they’re working towards and why it matters.
Millennials want to work for companies that are making a difference in the world, whether it is through environmental initiatives or community outreach programs. They want to work for companies with a purpose that aligns with their values and interests, and they want to work for companies with a bigger mission than just making money.
Millenials want companies that don’t hide behind vague policies or policies that change without warning and instead opt for transparency about everything from salaries to expectations for performance reviews. This helps ensure everyone knows what they can expect daily from each other’s behavior. Hence, there aren’t any surprises when something doesn’t go according to plan (which often happens enough anyway).
2. Flexible Work Schedules
Millennials are notorious for wanting flexibility in the workplace — or at least more flexibility than older generations seem willing to give them. They want flexibility in their work schedules to work from home or during off-hours. They also prefer working remotely when possible. This is especially true for older millennials who have children at home or younger millennials who have spouses who work full time outside of the house; both groups need flexibility in their schedules to balance their professional responsibilities with family commitments.
A new survey of millennials by Indeed (a job search engine) found that they value flexibility over salary. The survey found that 61% of millennials would take less pay if it meant more flexibility at work; only 8% said they would not accept less compensation for more flexibility.
“The findings suggest that employers need to rethink how they attract and retain millennial staff”, said Tara Sinclair, Chief Economist at Indeed, in a press release touting its survey results. “They may be willing to forego higher salaries for more flexible hours or greater control over where and how they work.”
Millennials value work-life balance more than any other generation. 45% of millennials say they would take a pay cut if it meant having more time off. They also value career advancement opportunities, but only 21% say they want to be CEO of a company someday (compared to 43% of other generations).
3. Collaborative Work Environment
Millennials want to work in an environment that is collaborative and focused on teamwork. They value being able to share ideas with their coworkers, which can be challenging in an individualistic culture.
In fact, according to a survey by Gallup, millennial workers prefer teamwork over individual success by a margin of 69% to 31%. This desire for collaboration is one of the reasons why millennials are so drawn to startups; they want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Millennials want to work with people who can help them grow as individuals and professionals. They want to collaborate with others from all different backgrounds who bring different perspectives and skillsets to the table. This allows for more innovation and creativity in general, which can only benefit everyone involved.
4. Focus On Overall Well-Being
Millennials also place a high value on their physical health — a trend that has only been exacerbated by the rise in technology use among this age group. In fact, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, over half of the millennials said that their employer’s commitment to the employee experience is a major factor in deciding whether or not they will continue working there. And more than half reported that their employer’s commitment to employee well-being is a significant factor in determining if they will stay with an organization long-term.
In addition, millennials aren’t just concerned with their well-being; they also care about the well-being of their colleagues. They want to go into work knowing that their employer is prioritizing health issues like sleep quality and exercise habits as much as they are themselves so that everyone can have the energy they need to succeed at their best every day!
This generation is known for being more aware of its overall well-being than previous generations. That means not just taking time for exercise and healthy eating but also making sure that there are opportunities for stress relief during the day — whether it’s yoga classes or meditation rooms, or even just simple breaks from sitting at desks so people can take walks around their offices!
5. Company Culture
When you think of workplace culture, what comes to mind? For many people, it’s the social environment that exists in an office. But millennials aren’t just looking for a place where they can share a laugh with their coworkers; they want work environments that offer something more than just camaraderie.
In a recent study by Ernst & Young, millennial respondents noted that company culture is important because “it provides an overall framework for decision-making and behavior at work.” In other words, millennials see company culture as being integral to how employees treat one another and how those employees interact with their customers.
Millennials want their companies to have clearly defined values based on which decisions are made in the future; they also wish for specific metrics to measure whether those values are being met daily. A strong sense of community means different things to different people — and as such, you need to consider what type of workplace atmosphere would be most beneficial for your business when thinking about creating your own company culture.
6. Career Growth
Being able to prove their worth and get recognized for accomplishments is important to millennials. They want a career with opportunities for growth, where they can continue learning new skills and taking on new challenges.
To succeed in this area, employers must provide their millennial employees with challenging work that allows them to utilize the skills they have already developed and grow into other roles within the organization.
A benefit of this approach is that it allows millennials to contribute directly to the company’s success. As they become more skilled at what they do, they will also gain experience working on teams and collaborating with others — skills highly valued by employers in today’s workplace environment.
Millennials are a generation that values workplace happiness, but they’re also looking for growth opportunities. As the largest generation in the workforce, millennials aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, employers need to understand what millennials value in the workplace to retain them.
Millennials are the future of our workforce, and we as a society must learn how to better cater to their needs. Employers must be willing to adapt to technological trends that younger workers are more likely to adopt, and a flexible work schedule is something that not only millennials, but workers of all ages should be entitled to.
Ultimately, the answer to what millennials value most in the workplace will differ from person to person. The most common response among the respondents was probably, “a life/work balance,” – which is fitting for a generation raised on technology.
Millennials will continue to push businesses in the right direction. They have been brought up believing that their voices should be heard and that they deserve to be successful. This means that employers need to embrace new ideas, change the workplace for a more creative environment and create opportunities for millennials if they want to succeed.