Gen Y, Gen Next, Screenagers… Whatever you want to call them, Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015) get a bad rep. Deemed as high-maintenance, self-absorbed narcissists who are lazy and greatly distracted, it’s easy to assume this generation is, for the lack of a better term, indifferent.
In reality, Millennials are anything but. They’re highly educated, continuous leaders who are natural collaborators in search of more than a paycheck from their jobs. Success for Millennials is defined more by personal satisfaction than material wealth. This generation is driven by inspiration, connection and purpose, but also desire freedom and room to grow.
This is critical insight for employers who wish to harness their creativity and passion. Millennials won’t be content with the same old HR bag of tricks. Millennials thrive in a culture built around three Fs—feedback, flexibility and function. Follow this framework to help ensure their productivity and overall happiness in the workplace.
Millennials crave feedback.
As ambitious as they are, Millennials crave feedback and coaching. It not only helps to keep them engaged, but also feel like their work is worthwhile and their efforts are being recognized. Open, two-way communication is needed to make employees feel like they matter, that their work is valid, and that their contribution, however small, is both valued and rewarded.
According to CEB Iconoculture, Millennials look for weekly communication—not just quarterly check-ins. While this can be time consuming for busy supervisors, 15Five, a startup built to encourage employees and managers to give feedback to each other, suggests adopting procedures such as online platforms and weekly email check-ins to make regular communication easier.
Millennials need flexibility.
Based on a survey conducted by CEB, flexibility ranks high on the list of workplace motivators for Millennials. Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents say having a job with flex time and the option to work remotely trumps a higher paycheck. This confident generation wants to develop their own skills and passions outside of work, investing their time acquiring skills and knowledge they need to grow both personally and professionally.
They want flexibility in terms of where and how they work, as they covet work-life balance. As technology has evolved, it’s become easier to work remotely, so it’s increasingly easier for employers to accommodate flexible schedules without compromising results. Millennials are hard-wired with an “anytime, anywhere” mentality. They don’t believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but rather by the output of the work performed.
Milennials find joy in function.
Millennials are passionate about their purpose and significance. By providing opportunities to do meaningful work and influence positive change, Millennials will feel more inspired to produce creative work. According to a survey conducted by Qualtrics, 37 percent of young employees say that working on challenging projects is what they like most about going to work, while another 15 percent value the “opportunity to make a difference.”
Want to learn more about Millennials? Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”