Millennials are Changing the Workforce
Millennials are the largest generation in the labor force. By 2025, 75% of the workforce is expected to be made up of millennials, according to Pew research. Many employers are frustrated with millennials’ tendency to change jobs frequently. But as this generation is continually looking for more meaningful work, what can employers do to attract and retain these workers? Gallup recently published an in-depth report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, that shares insights that may help employers create the work environment millennials crave.
Who Are Millennials
There is not an exact timeframe that designates the millennial generation, but millennials are generally considered those born between 1980-1996. Millennials are well educated, but as a result, they also have the highest student debt of any generation. High debt coupled with a high cost of living has led to trends of delayed life milestones. In other words, millennials are waiting until later in life to buy houses, get married, and have children. This also means they are less likely to settle down and stay with one job long term.
It’s apparent to companies large and small that millennials are changing the workforce and the workplace. For one thing, they are more likely than any other generation to change jobs. This has earned them the unfavorable nickname “job-hoppers”, which may seem befitting but it may have its benefits for good employers. Millennials are shaping the workplace, encouraging employers to provide a good work environment and opportunities for growth. Employers who figure out how to do this will have an advantage in the labor market.
What Millennials Want
Unlike previous generations, millennials do not look for a job to collect a paycheck. They look for a purpose that can support their lifestyle. According to Gallup, the #1 thing millennials look for in a job is the opportunity to learn and grow. The report states, “Managers need to recognize that millennials do not feel entitled; they feel empowered. They want to expand their knowledge and skills, they want to be useful, and they want their work and workplace to have meaning to them. Millennials’ development is paramount to them. They view their jobs as growth opportunities and look to their managers to help them progress.”
Millennials also care about social responsibility. The Center for Creative Leadership says millennials want to work for something that positively contributes to society, but can pay them for it. In other words, they want to do good and do well. The research states, “Almost 85% of millennials believe that making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.”
What You Can Do
If you can’t afford high salaries for your employees, look for ways to offer flexibility. Consider offering remote work, for example, or allow employees to choose which days of the week to work, which hours of the day to work, or how many hours per week to work. Business News Daily states, “Many [millennials] choose flexible hours and the ability to spend time with family and friends over a high salary. This is something small business owners can use to their advantage when competing with deep-pocketed companies for talent.”
In addition to flexibility, look for ways to offer opportunities for growth and learning. This is the most important aspect of a job for millennials, and it is therefore a wise investment for employers. Education doesn’t have to be limited to the workplace, either. Consider offering educational programs outside of work as an employee benefit, such as financial education courses.
Millennial employees will not stay at a job if the employer doesn’t give them a reason to stay. As an employer, you have the ability to create a work environment that will attract millennial employees and encourage them to stay with your company. Give your workers reasons to stay. Share your purpose, for instance, or demonstrate how your company is socially responsible. Above all, give your employees the chance to learn and grow.
Employers who adapt their work environment to meet the needs of millennial workers will find a major advantage in the coming years. As millennials begin to dominate the labor market, and change the workforce altogether, employers can create an environment where a job is no longer just a job, but a lifestyle. Employers who make these adjustments will attract talented candidates from the highly-educated and tech-savvy generation. More importantly, they’ll be able to retain these employees long term.
Find out how 101 Financial’s Workplace Wellness program can be an attractive employee benefit to millennial workers.