The baby boomers are retiring and people in the older range of Generation X are coming closer to the end of their careers. This means there’s a higher number of millennials in the job market than ever before.
Millennials are known for having a different set of values than the generations that came before them. Businesses need to understand what millennials want out of their work experience and provide those experiences in order to attract and retain top millennial talent.
Here are five things that millennials want from their work environments and how employers can keep up with their needs.
Millennials are interested in having flexible work scheduling and environments. The ability to come in an hour later and stay an hour later could make a big difference in whether or not a millennial with children is able to take a job.
Some parents must be able to see their children off to school or be home when their children come home. This means that millennials with children are more likely to value employers who understand their needs for flexible scheduling.
Many millennials also want to work from home in order to have greater balance between their work and home lives.
Sometimes a job has someone commuting forty-five minutes to work and forty-five minutes home. Some days, they might view that commute time as better spent at home working on projects that can be emailed or uploaded to the cloud.
There are a few ways in which millennials want the opportunity for development. First, they want the possibility of promotion and opportunity to improve their standing in the company. However, it’s not realistic to promote all of your employees all of the time.
You need to be selective when you give raises and award promotions. You can, however, create other strategies to show your Millennials that you appreciate the job they’re doing.
First of all, you can let people take on unique roles within the organization. Depending on the role, you can also let your employees use their creativity and ingenuity on a project. Then, after they’ve finished the project, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they might be deserving of promotion later on.
Another way to offer opportunities for employees to develop within the company is to offer training sessions in which they’ll be able to gain concrete skills. For instance, you might need to have people learn how to use a new software program.
When you offer training sessions, not only will you have people learning how to use the program and making your job easier, but you’ll be giving them an opportunity to develop their skills.
If you don’t need everyone to learn how to do something, you can consider offering the class to only a select group of people that you think would truly excel at the skill. Later, you can keep the other people in mind when something else comes up. Try to offer everyone opportunities to learn and grow throughout the company even if it doesn’t mean a promotion all the time.
Managing employee development is about matching employees up with skills that they’ll be interested in and already have an aptitude for.
Although older generations often see millennials as being self-centered and the “Me Generation,” millennials actually do a lot of good for their communities and are interested in making a difference.
If you offer opportunities for millennials to help others, they’re more likely to see your company in a positive light. You can offer paid time off for volunteering. You can also create opportunities in which the company does positive things for the community and nonprofit organizations.
For instance, you could have a food drive a few times per year and donate to the local food pantry. Millennials love to work for a company that cares about those around them and not only themselves. This will give them pride in their company, which improves retention.
If the environment is miserable, there’s a good chance that your millennial employees won’t stick it out forever. Millennials want to enjoy their time at work, so you need to find ways to make the experience pleasant.
The opportunity to grow within the company and learn new skills will help to make the experience more meaningful, but you can also offer social opportunities. If you have a large group of young employees, consider having a monthly potluck day or an after-work party.
You also want to do thorough background checks when you’re hiring so you know that you’re getting good people who won’t cause problems for their colleagues or the company overall.
Like many generations before them, Millennials want financial security. What makes them different from previous generations, however, is that the Great Recession made an impact on their financial perspective.
Millennials on the older end of the spectrum were first looking for jobs when the Great Recession hit, and it was tough for many to find a job that paid well even if they had a college degree. Millennials on the younger end of the spectrum were teenagers and saw their parents struggle through difficult times.
Many millennials also have significant student loan debt, so they’re looking for ways to pay it off. Businesses need to offer competitive pay and a good benefits package that addresses millennials’ top concerns.
Beyond comprehensive health insurance, businesses need to offer retirement programs because millennials are looking toward the future and understand that they need to plan now to have a comfortable retirement. Businesses can also offer financial planning services and student loan repayment benefits.
The best incentive programs are tailored to what your employees want the most, so you can even give out a yearly questionnaire to better understand what your employees need and want.
Millennials Are Taking Over
If you’re a business owner or manager of a company, you should start looking ahead to find the best ways to retain younger talent. Understanding the wants and needs of millennials is a good first step, and you’ll see the benefits to the morale of your workforce quickly.