What Do Millennials Want at Work? 3 Employer Dealbreakers
As a key part of today’s workforce, millennials often have a less than positive reputation as employees. They’ve been characterized as job-hoppers and entitled, but this is far from a complete depiction of the millennial workforce. To motivate millennials, it’s important to know that what these new workers are looking for in an employer — opportunities for growth, quality management, and work that interests them.
Opportunities for Growth
According to the Gallup report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” the opportunity to learn and grow is the attribute millennials want most from an employer. This contradicts the portrayal of millennial workers as prioritizing a creative or informal work environment; they instead view their current roles in light of their future aspirations, which is far from unreasonable.
Eighty-seven percent of millennials cited development as an important job factor — but less than one in two agreed that their job provided outlets for learning and growth in the past year. Additionally, Hired’s own Opportunity Index report found that better opportunity is the #1 reason people leave their jobs. By working with your millennial employees to empower them with new responsibilities as well as with formal professional development, employers can create the room for growth that millennials seek.
Management is also a key factor of job happiness for millennial workers. In the same Gallup poll, quality of managers and quality of management ranked second highest for job qualities they deemed “extremely important.” The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2016 identifies the traits that millennials look for in the ideal manager, and the management qualities ranking at the top include integrity, effective decision-making, and execution, effective communication, and the embracing of diversity. The results of this poll provide insight into the companies that attract and earn millennial loyalty — as well as the flip side, the kind of management situations that turn them into job seekers.
The third highest quality millennials look for in the ideal job is interesting work. For them, it’s not nearly enough to get paid for putting in hours at a job; millennials seek work they care about and roles in which they feel they can make a difference. According to Gallup, they want a job that “fuels their sense of purpose and makes them feel important.” Engaging this generation at work for the long term means understanding what makes them feel fulfilled in their current role. Hired’s Opportunity Index takes that a step further, finding that the key factor of on-the-job happiness for those who love their jobs is that the work itself is interesting (above and beyond salary, benefits, and all other options).
From opportunities for growth to quality management and interesting work, millennials have distinct priorities when it comes to where they want to work. Understanding and offering these qualities will put employers ahead when it comes to attracting and keeping the best millennial workers.