Updated: Oct 3, 2019
In our last blog we stated that Millennials are looking for 5 top things in the workplace. We covered 2 already. Below are the remaining 3 items.
3. They Want to Know Why - Yes, Millennials can find a lot of things fast and easily because they were raised with the internet. But what they want to know is why do YOU want things done? The “obstacle” they have is that they sound very challenging when they ask why. So for now look past the challenging tone and help them understand the reasons and the outcomes that surround the tasks you are requesting of them. The more you explain to them the why, the better they will perform. And, do your best to not take it too personal if they are actually challenging you. Help them practice to challenge you professionally, but remember, if you want leaders then be more communicative about what you want and why you want it done. Give them a reason. That’s a healthy thing to do.
4. Fast Career Progress - Those of us who are not Millennials were raised being told, “just hang in there. Tough it out. You will grow in your company if you invest the time, effort and energy.” Well, the economic collapse and the housing market decline of 2008 proved to everyone and especially to the Millennials that that is not reality anymore. Why? Because millions of people immediately after that came out of retirement, took up a lot of jobs, and now the Millennials face more competition for jobs than non-Millennials ever did before. They don’t have the confidence that putting in long months and years of effort will really be recognized and rewarded with growth. And they have a point. They do not want to get stuck, overlooked, or passed over. They want to move up faster because they know they have to. This is why they jump to other jobs when they realize that the promises you made to them during the interview are not panning out. When they see that there is no real empowerment and no real recognition for performance, they jump. Let’s be honest, if we were in their shoes, we would do the same. But remember that right now non-Millennials are the ones mostly in leadership positions. So it’s easy for us to look at them and wonder why they should want to move up fast. So what should we do? Train them well and give them opportunities to grow, opportunities to succeed, and opportunities to fail. If they perform well, let them climb. Let them pass others up if they are that good.
5. Social Work Environment - Non-Millennials talk a lot about work-life balance and wish we knew how to build more time into life and less into work. Well, the Millennials have us beat on that. They have figured it out. They simply value life more than work. It’s that easy. They will not give up life for work. They are willing to leave jobs if they can’t spend time with the things in life that matter the most to them. And that is a very honorable and good thing (I hope my Millennial children can pass on that love for life over work to my grandchildren and not be like their work-a-holic grandpa). The things that matter to the Millennials in life over work are friends, social community work, traveling, family, and other groups where they build connections. But it’s not just outside the workplace that this matters to them. They want to build good social relationships at work. So, how can we “adjust”? Plan activities as teams during work hours. Encourage teams and departments to create their own event and support them. Encourage your team members to spend time together (without the supervisors attending). And consider giving mileage points, or tickets, or travel vouchers as rewards for job-well done and performing well at work. If they keep over-performing, give them more vacation time. Why not? If they perform, let them enjoy life!
So, are these unreasonable?
Could these work?
Give me your feedback and comments.
How have you made adjustments to attracting, developing and retaining great Millennial talent?
Again, I’d like to thank J at Millennial Boss, whose studied this important topic and outlined her paper titled, “5 Things Millennials Want at Work”. This is a summary of her findings.