5 things millennials value at work

Millennials have had a massive impact on workplaces across the world. Following on from the Baby Boomer generation with a more traditional and transactional view of going to work and getting a paycheque in return, millennials, as well as Gen Z, have completely changed what it means to be happy at work, how a job represents more than a 9-5 and what they expect in return for their efforts.

By: Sinead Healy on

For businesses, it’s meant a shift away from the reward and recognition models of the past that relied more heavily on performance bonuses, years of service gifts and so on.

Today’s workforce wants more and, in some cases, they’d be willing to take a pay cut to get it.

So what do millennials really value at work? What day to day experiences and longer-term goals do they have?

Here’s a look at just five:

Feeling recognised

Moreso than any other generation, including Gen Z, millennials want to feel appreciated for their efforts - and on a regular basis too.

In fact, research from Office Team found that 76% of millennials would consider leaving a job if they felt their efforts weren’t recognised.

However, over-reliance on management to be the sole distributors of praise and recognition within a business can hinder the frequency, as well as quality, of recognition that takes place.

Learn how an employee recognition programs can help on this one.

Alignment of personal and organisational values

Millennial workers want to feel a higher purpose to the work they’re doing and are driven by opportunities to contribute towards a bigger cause or create something new.

But beyond simply having interesting projects to work on, this also extends to the goals, visions and purpose of the business they’re working for, too. As a result, don’t be surprised to have conversations during the recruitment process that focus on the organisation’s values and SCR policies as millennials actively seek out employers whose values match theirs.

Personal development opportunities

Millennials always want to feel that they’re progressing, learning and moving forward with their careers - often at a pace that traditional organisations can’t facilitate!

However, workplaces that facilitate learning opportunities, either through on-site coaching or off-site training budgets, can help keep millennials on-track with this need.


One of the big reasons why the gig economy is thriving is that younger generations want flexibility. And even in full-time, office-based jobs, millennial employees still expect the same flexibility.

This generation is focused more on getting a job done than clocking in and greatly value trust and transparency in workplaces which allow remote working and flexible working hours, too.

A great place to work

As the boundaries between work-life and personal-life become more blurred for an always-on generation, younger workers also greatly value the environment in which they spend the majority of their week.

A report from CBRE found that 80% of those they asked said the quality of their workspace was important. Interestingly though, only 33% said they preferred a collaborative workplace, and two in three aspire to have their own office one day.