What are Millennials looking for on the job and in the workplace? Is it different from previous generations?
How do you solve a problem like Millennials? Business owners are wrestling with this quandary in their bid to attract and retain talent among a demographic that comprises the highest percentage of workers, about one-third.
What are Millennials looking for on the job and in the workplace? Is it different from previous generations? Yes and no, according to the inaugural 2015 Workplace Index, a study of workplace trends conducted by Staples Advantage, Staples’ business-to-business division.
Salary, for example, is as much a motivation for Millennials as their older cohorts, the report finds. Nearly 30 percent indicated that a higher salary is the biggest contributor to their loyalty to the company, compared with 20 percent of respondents overall. Title and work responsibilities (38 percent) and work-life balance (30 percent) are larger contributors to their company loyalty.
Millennials seem more focused on less traditional perks. More than half report they work from home after their 9-5 workday is done, compared with 39 percent of all U.S. office workers. Thus, they say that more flexibility will improve their productivity (59 percent) and happiness (49 percent).
Twenty-one percent of Millennials surveyed define a good work culture as a place that offers their employees incentives and perks; nearly half say more of these would improve their happiness. Such as? An on-site gym, free lunches and a well-stocked break room were among the items on the office wish list. Millennials said a well-stocked breakroom leads to happier employees (57 percent), less stress (35 percent), more productive employees (35 percent), and a more social environment (33 percent).
An eco-friendly workplace has more appeal to Millennials than older workers. When making a decision on whether to take a job, half indicated that an eco-friendly company is important, compared to just over one-third of the broader workforce.
Belying the stereotype of the entitled Millennial, one-third of the young adults surveyed for the Workplace Index said they feel like they can’t take a break because of guilt vs. only 22 percent of workers overall. However, almost two-thirds (62 percent) say a break to refresh themselves would increase their productivity.
How do Millennials feel about management? Surveyed young adults who do not expect to change jobs note that trust in leadership and trust in their direct boss contributes to their loyalty. In addition, one in five millennials report that their direct boss motivates them to do their best work, while over one-third (35 percent) note that strong leadership defines a good work culture. Feedback from their boss is also important to this generation. Nearly one third of millennials (28 percent) say feeling appreciated contributes to their loyalty and 26 percent say recognition motivates them to do their best at work.
Not surprisingly, the majority of millennials (70 percent) expect to be in a management position in the next five years, compared to 48 percent of the broader workforce. What does that mean? It may mean well-stocked break rooms!
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.