How millennials are changing the world of work
When it comes to working, millennials are often put in a bad light. Generations, loosely defined as those born after 1982 and before 2004, tend to be labeled as lazy, titled, and glued to their iPhones. However, a recent Gallup survey shows they are more aligned with other generations than you might think when it comes to job satisfaction. Research shows that millennials are a driving force for change in the workplace, so it's not a coincidence that the generation engages with the lowest percentage of engaged employees. This may be simply because, as young people grow up they can manage their careers, finding the job that best suits their needs and thereby increasing their level of engagement.
What do millennials want?
In fact, what is surprising is that the changes millennials are pushing in the workplace are needs and hopes harbored by everyone, regardless of age. All employees seem to agree on how to work and what they need to be happy and productive during office hours.
Here are some of the key findings on what millennials want most in the workplace.
They are not afraid of changing jobs
It used to be hoping to hold onto your jobs for a long time and some may have parents who have been in a company for 20 years or more. Today, having fixed-term jobs in various companies is becoming the norm. Half of the employees surveyed say they are actively looking for a new job or seeing an opening, and 35% of workers reported having changed jobs in the past three years. The change can be fueled by the fact that employees are confident in their ability to find work, whether by choice or by the layoff.
They want to work with a purpose
Thanks to the millennials, the days when you log the eight hours behind a desk doing the bare minimum until you arrive at 6 o'clock are long gone. "Most workers, many of whom are millennials, come close to a role and company with a highly defined set of expectations," according to the survey. They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop. They want their work to fit their life.
They want the benefits - and they will change jobs to get them
It is easy to associate with millennials requests for benefits such as, for example, on-site gyms and offices that accept pets. Instead, the benefits they value most align with those that other generations consider most important: things closely related to the quality of life, like health insurance, paid vacations, and retirement plans. According to the survey, "the benefits and incentives that employees care about are the ones that give them more flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life."
They want to speak directly with their managers
What millennials are looking for is continuous feedback, clear goals, and "collaboration goal setting", which give them a voice in defining performance expectations that are deemed correct, relevant, and stimulating. More frequent and informal check-ins with managers allows employees to better see how their daily work relates to the goals of the organization.
Additionally, employees who have had conversations with their managers in the past six months about their goals and successes are nearly three times more likely than other employees to be involved in the workplace.
They want flexibility when and where they work
All employees share this desire for flexibility, but millennials demand it more than other categories and generations. They care deeply about the work/life balance and value having a life and not just a job. Flexibility and remote work go hand in hand. The optimal engagement increase occurs when employees spend 60 to 80 percent of their time, or three to four days in a five-day workweek, working offsite.
Although some companies consider that working with this generation can be quite complicated due to their demands and their lack of long-term vision, the advantages of working with them can be multiplied over the complications. It is definitely a challenge for any organization, but if that challenge is successfully met, great results can be achieved.