“Millennial” has become the buzzword of the century, and one of the most controversial generations to date, especially in the workforce. We’ve seen article after article that passes judgement upon this generation and their unique viewpoints of the working world, but why should we be really paying attention?
As of 2015, millennials became the biggest generation in the North American workforce, and yet hiring managers and employers are struggling to adapt.
They want more than just money
In one study, 53% of hiring managers said it was difficult to find and retain millennial talent. The reason for this is simple; millennials are looking for more from their careers then the generations that came before them.
This generation has a different perspective on what’s important to them in their career, and they aren’t motivated by just money alone. Instead, they are looking for meaningful work that matches their values, something that many businesses have lost sight of. Today, the primary measurement of success for businesses is still profit, but 87% of millennials feel that the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance. Millennials want to know what they are doing is helping improve society, and that their employer isn’t just talking about making an impact, but is making an effort to make both social and environmental changes.
They want opportunities to grow and develop
This generation has shifted from their parent’s way of thinking, where you get a job and stay at it for the bulk of your life. In North America, over 60% of millennial employees expected to leave their current job in the next five years, showing a lack of loyalty to their current workplaces. But what’s causing them to want to flee from their roles? A lack of feeling that their workplace is making full use of their skillset, and that their leadership skills were not developing in their roles.
Workplaces aren’t providing young employees with the skills they need to set them up for success, or create the next generation of senior leaders, which is driving more and more employees to look elsewhere.
They want flexibility
The generations that came before millennials is quick to look at their workplace wants and needs and framing us as being less committed to our work and career progression. But the truth is, millennials are looking for flexibility, and that doesn’t mean they are any less aggressive about their career, they just don’t necessarily feel the 9-5 lifestyle works for them. When looking for the right opportunity, millennials highly value flexibility, and will leave their current role if the opportunity presented itself that provided them with more flexibility.
What does this mean for employers? Employers are finding it hard to find and retain employees, but it’s due to their unwillingness to adapt to what the biggest generation in the workforce is looking for. But the employers that are succeeding have a workplace retention plan in place that involves offering flexibility, among other things like mentoring opportunities and opportunities for growth within the organization.
It is said that it costs $15,000-$25,000 USD to replace each millennial employee, so you can choose to either refuse to adapt and risk plummeting, or accept and embrace the change.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.