As someone who helped to produce and parent the Millennial generation I probably shouldn’t be surprised by their list of clear-cut “wants” from their careers, and yet I can’t help sometimes feeling that the list is a bit excessive. We were never so finicky!
Let’s remind ourselves what we know about this generation that by 2020 will
represent 40% of the working population:
• The majority of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
• They’re looking to work and invest in an organisation where they can make a difference, preferably in a place that itself makes a difference.
• They want a boss who will devote more time to coaching and mentoring them.
• They prefer a collaborative work culture rather than a competitive one.
• Most would like flexible work schedules.
• They want “work-life integration,” which isn’t the same as work-life balance, since work and life now blend together inextricably.
However, in today’s world where the working lifespan is extending, our Millennials will continue to struggle to move up the corporate ladder as older workers delay retirement and hold tight to the reins of power.
So let’s consider the impact of creating a work environment where Millennials will flourish. Here’s how it would look:
• A work place where workers are proud of its ethics, its social responsibility and its positive impact on the local or global community.
• Positive relationships with colleagues are encouraged, together with high levels of collaboration and support.
• Leaders and managers treat people fairly and respectfully, and are committed coaches and mentors.
• Pay, profit sharing and promotion decisions are executed fairly, and everyone gets a shot at special recognition.
• There is strong, open, two-way communication and a high tolerance for risk-taking.
This generation of young workers may have grown up in a digital world full of uncertainty and a deluge of parental attention. But ultimately, they want the same things that we all want: flexibility, meaningful work, positive relationships, choice in work and learning opportunities. In building a workplace fit for Millennials we are creating a better, happier workplace where everyone can be more engaged.
As Millennials flood into our organisations it’s more likely that the rest of us will shift our attitudes to become more like them, and would that really be so bad?
For more ways to get the best out of millennials download Creating Cultures that Engage and Retain Millennials and Generation Z.