What do Millennials want in the workplace?

Last year saw the proportion of Millennials in the workplace hit a whopping 40 percent. We often hear about how the wants and needs of Millennials are quite different from the generations that came before them, so what are these needs. And are we, as employers, meeting them?

By: James Blair on

If we’re not, we are quite simply closing our doors to what is arguably the most important demographic of working-aged people.

Here’s a little run-down of the things that matter to Millennials:

Work-life balance

It’s pretty well-publicised that Millennials expect a healthier work-life balance than many of their parents got (or, indeed, are getting!) and that flexible working practices are far more important to them than performance-related bonuses. This generation, quite rightly, focus more on getting a job done than clocking in and out at at set times. They greatly value trust and transparency from their employers, as well as workplaces which allow remote working and flexible working hours.

A commitment to employee success & recognition

Millennials don’t expect you to do the job for them – in fact, they’re pretty self-sufficient - but they do expect to be set up for success. That means sufficient training, the right tools to do the job, clear goals and realistic targets, and regular, meaningful feedback.

Millennials also value recognition and appreciation more than any other generation. And, in the new world of more flexible working, don’t rely only on top-down recognition or formal feedback at appraisals, as this will hinder the frequency and quality of the recognition taking place. Recognition platforms are, therefore, completely invaluable and a hugely worthwhile investment.

A company with a mission

Millennials want to work for an organisation with a clear mission. Many appreciate a social role from their employer. They want to feel a higher sense of purpose about the work they’re doing and are motivated by the chance to contribute towards a bigger cause.

Beyond simply having interesting projects to work on, this extends to the purpose, visions and goals of the business they’re working for, too. Millennials actively seek out employers whose values align with their own, and they won’t stick around if yours are unclear, unshared, or unrealised. Communicating your business vision and strategy is more important than ever if you want to attract and keep the finest Millennials on your staff.

A culture of development, collaboration and open communication

Millennials will choose company culture over cash when it comes to development, collaboration and communication. If your organisation truly values these things, then shout about it.

Ironically, some of the companies who are can boast these qualities don’t actually boast about them. Sort out your Comms Strategy if you want to keep all of your best people in the know, feeling empowered and remaining loyal.

What is fundamental to all of these is effective internal communication and recognition and engagement. You probably put everything you have into attracting the best talent to your business when you’re recruiting, but are you maintaining that same level of communication, recognition and engagement once they are on board? Because you really should be!