What Do Millenials Want?

Julie Shenkman
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The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, represents the younger portion of the workforce who are ready to take over from retiring baby boomers by 2025. Although sociologists and the media sometimes generalize working millennials as being entitled and needy, these people simply want something different out of their working lives.

Rather than demanding health insurance and two-week paid vacations, millennials want collaborative offices with ping pong tables, couches on the office floor and healthy food for lunch. The demand for these perks does not revolve around coolness or neediness, but arises from a drive to make work part of a lifestyle rather than something that must be done. This generation prefers to work for companies that make a difference to society, and the greatest perk in a contemporary workplace should be the job itself and the difference it makes to the world. Millennials would rather affect others in a positive way and enjoy their jobs than land huge contracts, get promoted and retire early.

The goal of most millennials in the labor pool revolves around connecting with purpose-driven companies with established goals. This group of people seeks employment with firms that raise social awareness, discuss social issues and make a lasting impact on society. To survive, organizations must adapt to the types of perks these younger workers want.

Millennials aspire to have perks that matter, such as free food at work, pets at the office and extended family leave when newborns arrive. The best firms that land the top talent are the ones that give employees benefits that promote social responsibility and improve overall wellness. This is why Google and Facebook give employees organic food for lunch; this makes workers feel like they are a part of a social movement that utilizes food grown without harmful chemicals. These contemporary workplaces take into account the wellness of their workers, giving evidence that huge firms succeed by caring for employees as assets rather than expenses.

The goal of these perks in the contemporary workplace is to maintain productive workers. Millennials who realize their companies value them become loyal, caring employees who give back to their firms and have fun at their jobs. Firms do not necessarily have to make grand, sweeping changes to inspire people at the office. Companies can offer one day per month for workers to do volunteer work or personal development training. This day is about self-renewal for employees to keep their minds fresh.

Not all companies and human resources executives see this generation as vibrant workers. Working millennials have overcome several stereotypes and biased perceptions in the job market. A survey of 6,000 job seekers and HR professionals found that millennials and the firms that hire them differ in opinion with regards to their work ethics, leadership skills, technological expertise, loyalty and communications skills. Whereas millennials see themselves as scoring positively in most of these categories, human resources staff see this generation as lacking many basic work skills.

By 2025, firms may not have a choice when it comes to hiring millennials, as by that point, these workers should comprise 75 percent of the workforce. Companies should shift their focuses now to attract the best young workers in order to remain competitive.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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