Millennials now make up over half of the workforce, and figuring out what millennials want in the workplace should be a priority. Companies spend a considerable portion of funds to figure out what millennials want and crack their mindset. Whether designing new products and services, professional aspirations, and office necessities, companies are horrible at trying to figure out what millennials want.
Being a millennial, I know it’s unfair to ask someone else to figure us out, especially when millennials themselves tried and failed at a global scale. Companies, on the other hand, need to understand and implement as employers the facilities, policies, and amenities millennials need in order to work effectively.
How is Gen-M Different?
There’s A Lot of Them, A LOT
Employers will find contrast in the response of millenials as to what they want in the workplace. Millennials make up 32% of the world population, which makes them the biggest demographic by age. In the 15 year span in which millennials were born (1981-1996), there is some significant polarity in the preferences. They have the most evolved samples of introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, and other mental health issues that had remained undocumented. Coming back to our offices, we’re not satisfied with coffee pots and microwaves to heat food (although some places still don’t have that and they feel for them).
They’re The “Next Great Generation”
Millennials want fast internet connections, sanitation amenities, and these may sound like absolute first world problems, that’s because they are. The year we live in is 2020, more than 51 years since America put men on the moon and more than 80 years since the second world war came to an end. Times are changing, and the millennial generation is at the forefront of this stride, making the most revolutionary changes in social evolution.
And, They Have a Lot on Their Plate
We live in the most digitally advanced age of not only human civilization but ever on this planet. Plus, they’ve been given the responsibility of reversing years of pollution at a global scale, restoring law and order in military or conflict-struck countries, poverty, and multiple global crises. On top of all this, they need to work jobs that effectively simulate economies and global trade. The least that these millennials deserve is to change the workplace according to the 21st century.
With That In Mind
What millennials want is a competent, progressive, and proactive workplace. A place where work is enjoyable and doesn’t seem dull and uninteresting, filled with things and people that uplift our moods and morale, is much more attractive than the corporate workhouses of IT ages.
Saying all this may make it look like millennials are sad and entitled people who are depressed all the time and need their environments to be reassuring. Well, we are, and we’re not ashamed of it. Labor laws were the basic needs in the workplace, as we move forward, we need better, more advanced utilities at work. Millennials are the ones asking for such improvements, and they’re not sorry because these things are essential.
Here are the things millennials want at the workplace:
Millennials like speed and a fast-paced growth pattern, and they want to know exactly where they are on that path. Millennials are interested in numbers and exact targets, so if you tell them:
what they have to do to reach the next stage,
what will be their key indicators, and
when will they be able to move into key roles
They’ll be focussed and efficient. A study by PwC concluded that millennials “work well with clear instructions and concrete targets,” and that managers focus on whether or not the task gets done well and on time, rather than where or how they complete the job, which brings us to our next point.
The freedom to work from home on the days they don’t feel like coming in to work, or accessibility to engaging activities when they face a creative block are things millennials are ready to die for. Such freedom doesn’t mean letting them work on their terms, and you can maintain policies like giving four days/month (1 day per week) as optional work-from-homes. If employees are comfortable working from restaurants, coffee shops, or their homes, why not let them?
Another label given to millennials is lazy, privileged, and irresponsible, and although most of them are somewhat spoiled, they are not inherently unreliable, and they are like to prove it. Giving millennials real responsibilities is a sign of trust, and millennials are big on that. When entrusting them with responsibilities, know that they will do it wholeheartedly. Millennials like feeling empowered and independent, give them a task that isolates them, and share the details of deliverability and let them do their thing.
Let them know what they’re working towards because millennials like sharing ideas and voicing their own. Tell them and discuss the vision of the team, company, and individuals, so they feel more involved and stay invested. The problems that the company wants to solve and their sentimental values attached to the vision of solving it. Millennials like cold hard facts, and if you tell them the impact of every task done in the office, they will commit, whether professional or personal.
An Open Manager who Cares
Who doesn’t like a dazzling manager!? Millennials consistently claim that having poor managers who are not fully empathetic towards what employees want or need can be a huge turn-off. However, what companies can do if their workplace is struggling to have strong manager employee relationships is be more inclusive and caring. Millennials want a boss they can trust, someone they feel comfortable talking to and who is invested in their professional and personal growth.
Millennials are new, creative, and from a general perspective, anxious about how the world sees and treats them. For this reason, millennials sometimes don’t understand what others see as understood office norms, such as the ‘badge of honor’ of being the last one to leave the office or why it might look bad to leave early on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the gym.
Here Are Some Actionable Steps To Help You
- Consider facilitating meetups for millennials within the company with mentor programs that help millennials interact and get to know one another.
- Plan social events like company gathering or outing and engage employees, preferably outdoors.
- Plan such activities during work hours so that most employees can attend and participate
And we haven’t even told you the best part about making your company culture millennial-friendly, which is the long-term return. With an environment that’s inviting for millenials to work and stay, companies start noticing a significant dip in turnover rates. Once companies are able to develop company policies and strategies that millennials like, companies can take testimonials and feedback from employees talking about the policies, amenities and the overall experience that they have in the workplace.