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Millennials in the Workplace: Why They Matter and What They Want

Human Resources

Millennials now occupy the largest section of the workforce compared to any other generation. With more than 80 million millennials currently employed across America, organizations cannot ignore their wants and needs. Here are a few things we know about them:

  • Millennials are born after 1980. They are also sometimes called Gen Y, Echo Boomers, and Generation Me.
  • This generation is seen to have a strong sense of community, but is also thought to be more narcissistic than previous generations.
  • Most grew up with doting parents who encouraged self-confidence and told them, “they could be whatever they wanted to be”.
  • Millennials expect a variety of tasks, frequent praise from their employers, and participate in a wide range of activities outside of work.

Why Should You Care?

Millennials not only account for 30% of the current workforce, but according to Time Magazine, by 2025, three out of four employees worldwide will be millennials. They also have an astonishing turnover rate, as six in ten employees leave their jobs in less than three years. It is estimated that the costs to replace a millennial employee range between $15,000 and $25,000. With these high costs, and the aforementioned turnover rate, businesses will soon learn not to ignore the needs of millennials.Millennials in the Workplace: Why They Matter and What They Want  image F iStock 000007431474 web 300x228

What Should You Do?

Many of the tactics you can employ to keep millennials around are the same you should use for any generation of employee within your organization.  However, various studies have shown that millennials frequently cite the following employer policies as motivation to stay at their jobs:

Work-Life Balance

An astounding 37% of millennials would take a pay cut if it meant they could have flexible work arrangements, and 89% feel that work-life balance is essential to happiness at work. With flexible and collaborative scheduling more practical for employers than ever, it is a simple solution to the revolving door of millennial employees.

Clear Career Trajectories

Millennials are empowered more than any generation before them to manage their own careers. If they think that there is no growth potential within your company, you can be sure that they will be looking for one that does. Some interpret this as being disloyal, but in reality they are found to take charge of their careers at an earlier stage than others.

Recognition and Teamwork

Because of their affectionate and encouraging upbringings, millennials expect frequent praise in the workplace. Employers can easily accommodate this by incorporating small daily boosts of acknowledgement into the workday. Millennials also are more likely than other generations to seek social work environments, so include them in teams and hire according to cultural fit. Try not to fall in love with a candidate’s “perfect” resume, but focus instead the attitude and work ethic of the millennial you are looking to hire.

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