Millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force in 2016 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. As they are increasingly becoming the most influential part of any workplace in every US business, it is crucial to understand why and how they are unlike any other generation before them.
1. Millennials Need Greater Work-Life Balance
When we look at the challenges Millennials face as they enter parenthood and take on increasing responsibilities in the workforce, is no surprise that Millennials are taking a different approach to work-life balance.
A global study by EY titled Work-life challenges across generations reveals that managing work and life has become more difficult especially for US Millennials.
For the HR department it becomes a challenge formulating and implementing practices that establish the best work-life balance for the Millennial employees. We recommend looking at the ability to work from home, or work according to flexible hours that meet Millennials personal needs.
2. Millennials Want to Combine Profit and Purpose
Many managers and business owners face a challenge of retaining and engaging the Millennial generation due to inability to facilitate an organizational culture that goes beyond making and selling products/services. To bring out the best of this group of employees you should consider providing opportunities for volunteering and social involvement.
As the pioneering CEO of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff, says: “When you look at the Millennials’ value system, what Millennials want, they want to have meaning in work. They want to understand that the company they’re working for is not just building products and selling products.”
Let your Millennial employees know why the organization does what it does and you will see them flourish.
3. Millennials Need a Coach Not Manager
Coaches guide Millennials to success, provide empowerment, regular feedback and recognize employees’ performance. Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. The opportunity to grow on a professional level can be provide only by a coach who offers actionable advice, constant feedback and inspiration.
Be sure that you include coaching, mentoring and communication as part of your approach to building a workplace of engaged Millennials. Managing them using the characteristics of a traditional “boss” will likely make them look someplace else where support, mentoring and encouragement is present in a Millennial-friendly work culture.
4. Millennials Learning and Development Opportunities
Learning and development opportunities are Millennials first choice of benefit from employees according to the PwC report entitled “Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace.” The report also states that development and work-life balance are more important than financial reward.
Managing Millennials imposes certain level of difficulties in terms of understanding what type of development opportunities appeal most to them.
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 shows that 71% of Millennials expecting to leave their employer in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed. Learning and development opportunities are one of the top things Millennials are looking for in the workplace. In fact one the biggest issues for millennials is finding a workplace that provides enough development opportunities that will allow them to grow and improve their professional performance.
5. Millennial Engagement
It is leaders’ responsibility to make sure the Millennial generation who will be making up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, feels more motivated and engaged than ever.
Keeping Millennials engaged in the workplace is radically different to what business owners and managers were used to with previous generations. Learning what keeps Millennials engaged should be of utmost important to any manager of this generation of employees. Disengaged Millennials is costing businesses hugely in terms of lower productivity, retention, overall performance and business growth.
Our research on Millennials needs and wants in the workplace finds that learning opportunities, collaboration, communication, flexibility, work-life balance and opportunities for growth are the main things that create an engaged workforce.