Millennials tend to get a bad rap. They have often been labelled as lazy or entitled and glued to their smartphones. Contrary to popular belief, however, this is an extremely hard-working generation. With an awareness of the value of growing their skills, strengthening relationships and exploring opportunities, most don’t mind putting in the extra hours. According to research, 73% of millennials say they work more than 40 hours a week and nearly a quarter work over 50 hours per week. 

Millennials are expected to make up the majority of the workforce by 2020. What this means for businesses is that they need to know how to attract, retain and engage them and the best way to achieve this is to have an intimate understanding of what truly motivates them. 

They want a Better Work/Life Balance

When you look at the difference between how businesses operate now compared to ten years ago, it’s evident that millennials have become a driving force behind workplace change. The developments have benefited everyone, too, regardless of age, as the vast majority of us agree with the millennial generation on how we want to work and what we need as employees to be happy and productive during office hours.

The main priority is a good work/life balance. When looking for a new job, time off is a priority for 86% of millennials and flexible working is important to 79%. When it comes to why millennials quit their jobs, excessive overtime hours and a boss that doesn’t allow flexible working were cited as two of the top reasons. This desire for flexibility over fixed working hours doesn’t mean that less work is being done – in a Bentley University study, 77% of millennials said that flexible working results in them being productive for longer.  

They want more than just a Salary 

Millennials are interested in more than just remuneration. 87% say that professional training and career growth is very important to them, and the majority would stay with their current employer for the next few years or even longer if the job includes new opportunities, a better work/life balance and a clear career path. One key difference to previous generations is that millennials want to be recognised for personal accomplishments and reaching milestones at work, though 39% say their employer doesn’t provide positive feedback at all. 

Therefore, putting the right framework in place with an investment in training and development to help employees grow and having their career paths defined will attract this millennial talent. 

They want Transparency in the Workplace 

Millennials want honesty and value transparent leadership. Employers need to build a culture where employees have visibility into decision-making processes and are presented with opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways. Classic management systems which impose strict boundaries, offer limited communication and incite lack of trust, are not effective ways of engaging millennials or keeping them satisfied. Younger generations nearly always perform better under open, candid, trust-based environments. When managers openly share information with their team, employees feel trusted and reassured that their own opinions will be heard in return. 

They Expect Diversity & Inclusion

Research shows that half of millennials look for diversity and inclusion when sizing potential employers. Beyond age, religion, gender, race and physical ability, they are also concerned with how different points of view are accepted and valued, defining diversity as a mix of experiences, identities, ideas and opinions. This is a demand that is well worth adhering to, according to research carried out by Deloitte, which found that 83% of workers are actively engaged when their organisation fosters an inclusive work environment.

If you would like more information about attracting millennials to your workforce, contact The Consultancy Group, and we’ll be more than happy to help. 

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