Millennials are an increasingly important and substantial segment of the employee population. Many of its members are assuming important leadership positions or represent the top talent in the market. All in all, they are a business force to be reckoned with. Recent studies have shed some light on what they desire from work and how they reshape entrenched business notions and concepts.
Namely, these people bring a unique set of values and qualities to the workspace instead of leaving them at home. This change faces companies with a mix of challenges and opportunities. They are under pressure, but also highly incentivized to implement new practices and policies, garner a positive workplace culture, and invest in the office design.
A vast majority of millennials wants to occasionally work outside the office. They are dissatisfied with shabby work conditions and have both major complaints and minor nitpicks to present. In general, they prefer companies that offer flexible work arrangements and give them a freedom to choose when and where the work gets done.
Most often, this implies handling a share of the obligations from home and taking advantage of telecommuting. These perks allow them to foster a better work-life balance and mitigate the stress coming from the office and commuting. After all, in the age of digital communication, being constantly chained to the office desk feels rather obsolete.
Members of the millennial generation crave for a meaningful work experience and they are not driven solely by money. They want more than a solid paycheck at the end of the month – work that is empowering and important. Their chief goal is to grow personally and improve professionally at the same time. Nobody wants to be reduced to the role of a mere cog in the corporate machine.
Hence, companies that want to attract them need to provide a constant influx of new assignments as well as advancement and learning opportunities. Managers should actively offer support and feedback on performance. Ideally, they delegate task and responsibilities, preventing millennial workers from feeling stuck in the loop.
Money still matters
It goes without saying that millennials want to be well paid for their work efforts. Money is still one of the main priorities, but it is linked to long-term financial security. Millennial workers look towards the future and assess how companies can help them in preserving it. For example, a superannuation plan is an excellent tool for funding retirement activities and showing to millennial workers that their situation is improving over time and leading somewhere.
Along similar lines, there are also various perks, incentives, and rewards that can stimulate them to be at their best. These elements can be integrated into a system of work gamification and motivation programs that promote healthy competition and improve engagement.
Autonomy is not easy to come by in the companies that enforce military-like discipline, but it is highly valued among the ranks of millennials. They utterly dread pushy bosses that like to micromanage them and crack the whip all the time. This outdated leadership style puts them instantly off, hampering their engagement and loyalty.
On the other hand, they appreciate managers and executives that know how to coach and pass on knowledge. They expect these modern leaders to set the right example before lecturing others. Moreover, they cannot stand double standards and hypocrisy. All in all, they want to be acknowledged, treated fairly, and trusted.
Millennials are well aware that the work environment has a profound impact on the mood, productivity, and motivation. There are various elements they are on the lookout for. For instance, one of the most desired features is plentiful natural light, and it is followed by quality, modular furniture, which can be adjusted to work habits and preferences.
We also see that the open office plan is all the rage among employees as it cultivates an atmosphere of lively collaboration and open, horizontal communication. Let us not forget all those relaxation spaces and chill-out and entertainment amenities that break the monotony and sterility of the corporate office.
Making a difference
Despite having a reputation for being a self-centered bunch, millennials are actually concerned about the social and environmental impact of work. Many of them care about making the world a better place through day-to-day actions. They sometimes rank social and environmental responsibility above their own professional recognition.
A millennial recognizes the value of doing a background check and checking the reputation and public image of the businesses. Therefore, companies that embrace responsibility and give their employees a chance to contribute to the burning issues are able to win trust and loyalty. I am talking about brands that make everyone feel like a part of something bigger – an organization with a clear, genuine mission.
Above and beyond
Winds of change are sweeping across the business landscape. For the army of millennials, it is all about the work experience and multifarious rewards that can be reaped from it. As it turns out, most of them are looking beyond the average 9-5 jobs. They denounce the rigidity of the corporate pyramid and tediousness of a traditional office, longing to be fulfilled at work and have a sense of purpose.
This population is nurturing innovation, positive workplace changes, and a profound cultural shift. And rest assured that when millennials are happy and engaged, their organizations prosper. Thus, the ability to satisfy their wants and needs can significantly boost productivity and enhance the bottom line.