In the quest to secure the loyalty of Millennials, employers are seeking to better understand what this younger generation desires in terms of career life. Farcical stereotypes abound which suggest offices that look and feel like playgrounds inhabited by flip flop-wearing know-it-alls, but what is it that they really want?
Research suggests that the 18–34 demographic has priorities that trump foosball and cargo shorts Fridays.
3 Ways to Get the Most From Millennials
Brand your company as socially aware
Pew research suggests that Millennials want to make the world a better place. This is a generation that has grown up with the understanding that the world has been looted and polluted and that Earth’s only hope for survival is them.
Think about starting a volunteer program or other philanthropic endeavor; start using eco-friendly materials and encourage reusable goods; recognize the efforts of employees who make a difference in the community; or, at the bare minimum, start recycling.
Understand there’s more to life than work
Growing up in Baby Boomer households, many of today’s young people blame the workplace for splintering their families or causing mental and/or physical health problems. As a result, Millennials seek to strike a balance in their lives between work life and home life. A Capstrat study recently found that Millennials are more interested in getting married than starting a career. In addition, for about one in five, having a child was considered the most important milestone in life.
Consider allowing flex time and off-site work. Is it essential that your employees be at their desks all the time? Wi-Fi lets people log on from about anywhere in the world, not just the office (this, by the way, also shows social awareness in that working from home does not contribute to the many harms associated with commuting).
Also, think about encouraging mental and physical fitness by offering healthy snacks, gym/yoga memberships, and stand-up desks. Perhaps install a basketball hoop in the parking lot or, if that’s too much to ask, how about springing for a Nerf hoop above the wastebasket?
Pay a competitive wage and don’t skimp on benefits
However idealistically a person might answer questions in a survey, when the rubber hits the road, there are realities that set in. Millennials might say they don’t care about money, placing a “high-paying job” near the bottom of their work-related priorities, but a Pew study found that other generations have answered the same way in approximately equal numbers.As minimum wage creeps toward $15 an hour, those with college degree are going to look for jobs that reward them for making it through school. If you low-ball your younger workers because you’re under the delusion that money doesn’t matter to them, you’re going to be left scratching your head when they jump ship for a better-paying company with medical, dental, vision, and matching 401k contributions. They’ll somehow get over the lack of lunchtime Frisbee golf.
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