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It all begins with understanding the Millennials in our workplace – it’s time to re-learn our new generation and their likes.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X, preceding Generation Z, and are the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s.

According to CNBC, Millennials and Gen Z currently account for slightly over a third of the workforce (38%). And in the next decade, this figure is projected to shoot up to 57%, making the youthful generations the most dominant in the workplace.

By this year 2020, we will have 86 million millennials in the workplace, representing a 40% chunk of the working population, according to Intelligence Group.

This gives us a clear heads up on the need to understand what these talented people of tomorrow want, or ignore their needs at your bottom line’s peril.

So, what do these Millennials seek in a Company and from their Employer?


1. A Company with a Clear Mission and Purpose

“Millennials want to work for organizations that prioritize purpose as well as profit. It’s as simple as that” – Punit Renjen

According to Deloitte, 76% of millennials view business as a source of powerful and positive social impact. Millennial job candidates look forward to joining an organization that sees a social role for itself.

Companies with excellent employer brands have specific mission or vision statements. These statements are referential and clearly encompass the company’s reason for being.

Look at some of the companies that have no problem securing applications from the most qualified twenty- and thirty-somethings. They all have something in common – mission statements.

For example, Google isn’t just a search engine. It’s a company that wants to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Key Tip: Clearly understand and list your company’s brand values, then use them to draw great candidates.


2. A Collaborative and Innovative Culture

Famous advertising executive Bill Bernbach said, “A principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money.”

Millennials put their money where their mouth is when it comes to company culture. According to a study by Fidelity, millennials are willing to take a $7,600 pay cut in exchange to move to a company with a better company culture.

It comes as no surprise since we already know that millennials look closely at a company’s values. And company culture is often moulded by those values.

Therefore we need to understand that Millennials seek a company culture which values collaboration, innovation, and an investment in professional development and the employee experience.

Key Tip: Promote your company culture by sharing your brand values online, sharing behind-the-scenes footage of your office on social media, and by advertising your opportunities for continued learning and advancement.

Also watch: Aventis Charades Challenge


3. A Management Team That Is Committed To Employee Success

Millennials are not looking for the sitcom experience where a new employee is left to fend for themselves with ambiguous instructions on their first day of work. Rather, this generation of Millennials judges a company based on how much effort it puts into setting up its new hires for success.

According to one survey, employees expect employers to offer the following:

  • 40 percent expect sufficient training
  • 31 percent want goals and expectations to be clearly established
  • 30 percent of millennials want to be given all the information they need to get the job done
  • 26 percent expect reasonable goals and deadlines
  • 23 percent want leaders who are demonstrably invested in their success

Simply throwing an employee to the wolves doesn’t suggest to a millennial that you’re a serious, impressive company. Rather, it signals that this is not a place they’d like to stay long-term.

Key Tip: Arrange for one-on-one meetings with your millennial staff regularly, say once a week or two weeks to go through their current portfolio and hear them out if there’s any challenges they’re facing and provide suggestions on how to tackle them together. On top of that, it’ll be good to provide the vision for your staff to see where they will be in a year’s time for example, with adequate plans to train them and upgrade their skills. This will assure your staff that you as the employer are in this learning journey with them, and they’re not tasked to handle this alone.


4. Healthy Work-Life Integration

Forget work-life balance – there’s a new wellness buzz word in town.

Technically speaking, the two terms mean the same thing: Finding harmony so that your work is not negatively impacting your life, relationships, and happiness.

Companies, especially startups, know that they’ll be asking for a lot of their employees due to their business nature. There’s the expectation that employees will go the extra mile (and most are happy to do so!) but millennials also expect a certain level of support in this regard.

These are some initiatives by companies to allow employees to receive the additional support they need:

  • Unlimited vacation policies
  • Covered dry cleaning
  • Free lunches (or dinners for late work nights)
  • Demonstration from the management level that it’s okay to leave early for family commitments

Key Tip: As you sit down with your HR team and recruiters and think about how to sell your company to desirable candidates, consider ways to work these millennial wishes into your recruiting strategy.