Millennials now make up around half of the nation’s workforce and yet persistent myths could be making it harder than it needs to be for organisations to successfully integrate this new generation of workers into existing teams.
Jaen Snyman, national business manager – modern workplace, Empired, said, “Apart from being digital natives, millennials aren’t really that different from other generations of workers and, of course, they’re all individuals. Like most workers, millennials want to be able to do a great job in the roles they’re given. They want the right tools and the right support, and they want to feel like they’re contributing in meaningful ways. The intricacies of what this means is as individual as the workers themselves.”
There are five common traits that millennials are looking for when considering their next role, according to Empired:
1. Skills development
The job market has never been more competitive and, if organisations can’t demonstrate that they invest in their employee professional development, the risk is that graduates will leave after just a few years, or worse, not even apply for the role in the first place. Millennials are willing to accept jobs that aren’t what they’re particularly looking for if they see the opportunity to develop their skills further. Ultimately, they want to continuously upskill, learn, and progress.
2. Regular feedback
Millennials thrive on regular feedback and need to know where they stand with their employer regularly, as well as be told how they can improve. While annual reviews give a great company snapshot, and should still happen, regular feedback throughout the year is necessary for millennials to be satisfied in their roles. Furthermore, smaller pieces of actionable feedback offered more frequently can help millennials make more progress towards improvement than a chunk of feedback that can seem overwhelming.
3. Work flexibility and work-life balance
While many organisations still retain a nine-to-five, desktop-only work structure, the reality is that the nature of work is rapidly shifting. COVID-19 has forced this shift upon many organisations proving that flexible options and work-from-home can work. Flexibility is important to millennials who want to balance their commitment to their careers with their equally-valued commitment to friends, family, and hobbies. To support this, organisations needs the right tools to accommodate working from different locations, working in different time zones, convenient business travel, and a work-life balance.
4. A positive corporate culture
Millennials value a healthy corporate culture, and will research before applying for a role at any organisation. Millennials want to know whether they will be able to work collaboratively and trade ideas with others in their team versus being expected to sit quietly in a cubicle and toil for 10 hours straight. Given the power of collaboration to offer improved company performance, it’s essential to put tools in place that facilitate strong collaboration between and among teams. Video chatrooms, team calling, shared online spaces and more can help employees feel connected to each other and to the company, unleashing their creativity and powering their productivity.
5. Social impact
It’s true that millennials are looking to make a social impact. They’re choosing to buy from companies with sustainable bona fides, volunteer for causes they believe in, and donate to charities close to their hearts. So, it stands to reason that they’d like to make a similar social impact in their jobs. While organisations have to focus on delivering profits in the next quarter, millennials also want to know that they’re helping the world. There’s no reason organisations can’t do both through efforts such as ethical sourcing, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, or even just giving workers time off during the year to volunteer for a reputable charity.
Jaen Snyman said, “Putting these elements in place isn’t just important for attracting talented millennials to roles. These things tend to be important across the board, at least to some degree. Making sure your employees can make a real difference, while communicating that fact to a wider audience, is hugely valuable.
“It’s essential to keep everyone in the organisation abreast of what their colleagues are doing in this area as well as what the organisation as a whole is doing. Doing this will help bolster an organisation’s reputation as a desirable place to work and could even affect revenue and profit.”