Nobody seems to know what to do with Millennials. But like it or not, they’re now the largest generation in the workforce. In fact, by 2020, it’s estimated that they will make up 50% of the workforce. Age difference is no longer an excuse for misunderstanding; in order for your company to succeed, it’s important for all of the generations to understand each other.
If you want to capitalize on this young talent, then you need to be able to understand what drives them at work. Lindsay Boccardo, a Millennial expert, talent coach, and corporate consultant, has been coaching organizations to help them understand what makes this growing workforce tick for years. She’s created a framework for engagement around the 4 things that matter the most to Millennials in the workplace.
1. Purpose in Work
More than anything, Millennials want to find meaning in their work. They want to make their mark on the world and place a great deal of importance on improving society. Because of this, it’s extremely important to Millennials that their company’s values align with their own. Their desire to make a difference means that they want to understand their role in the company and how they affect the outcome. Serving a larger purpose is so important to Millennials that most would take a lower salary to work at a company that aligns more closely with their values.
2. Influential Relationships
Millennials have been trained to work in teams, so they value social interactions with their peers at work. Forming relationships with colleagues around them and above them allows them to feel more connected to the organization. Contrary to what some may believe, Millennials not only want to work alongside older generations, but they want to learn from them as well. They’re looking for mentors among the more experienced workers to share their knowledge. Because Millennials value communication and teamwork, they want a boss who will guide and coach them instead of simply managing them.
3. Personal Development
Millennials entered the job market on the heels of the recession, meaning that they’ve had to battle high unemployment rates and an uncertain job market right from the start. This lack of stability in their professional lives has spurred a desire for greater personal development. Millennials want ongoing feedback on their job performance that will help them improve. Rather than pointing out their weaknesses, Millennials prefer to focus on and develop their strengths. As with any young person, Millennials are still trying to ”find themselves.” To do this, they seek feedback that will help them perform to the best of their ability.
4. Whole Life Understanding
Millennials place a lot of value on flexibility in the workplace, which means that the traditional 9-to-5 doesn’t always work for them. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re lazy- this generation simply works differently than generations before them. For a Millennial, getting their work done doesn’t equate to sitting in an office all day. Technology has allowed them to tailor their work schedules to transcend time and location. It’s also important for Millennials to feel that their mental and physical health are a priority. They want their employers to see them as a whole person, not just a worker.