Friday, July 29, 2016

5 Employee Work Environments That Millennials Want

We’ve talked about Milliannials wanting work-life balance with their careers in a previous article, but here’s something that might come to people as a bit unintuitive. Millennials want to see more than just a promise of “good pay” when looking for a job. This is important to note because Millennials will account for more than half of the work force in 2025 and their aim is not the same as other generations. It’s not just about the promise of money anymore, it’s the promise of change.

1. Millennials want transparency. The word gets tossed around a lot, along with words like “bottom line” and “gluten free”, but there’s a reason to that. There’s no need to wax poetic with Millennials because they want to know more about how the company will use technology, their resources and their talent. If they feel as if they are being manipulated by management or are not fulfilled with their daily tasks, they will simply leave their job.  A survey on global perspectives reported that 29% of Millennials feel it would be easy to find a new job. Millennials want to see that they’re contributing to the big picture and adding to the business in a meaningful way. Employers need to be  communicative with their employees on how their employees fit in with the big picture and employees will more likely to be satisfied with their position. 

2. Companies usually don’t want to be tied down with micromanagement tasks like ongoing performance assessments but as Millennials come into the workforce, feedback is becoming more and more essential. Some might say that this type of mentoring is “needy” but it’s more of an indication on how Millennials work and improve. Millennials want to grow in their careers and engaging them with evaluative information will help them do so. A workplace that engages their employees will more likely keep them from becoming bored and, subsequently, leaving their position for a more modern workplace.

3. Employees benefit choices makes for a better personalized plan. Millennials want to be able to customize their own insurance options in order to create a program that suits their specific needs. Being able to pick and choose how they will be covered has a more profound impact on an employee than giving them a pre-packaged, no real thought given, plan. Now, there’s a lot of jargon being regurgitated about how “Millennials are the on-demand generation so of course they’d want to personalize their whatever”, but personalization adds to an employee being engaged by their employer. Millennials want to be seen as a helpful member of the team and not just extension number 9197. Allowing for the personalization of employee’s insurance plans will allow for employees to suit their needs other than just a salary amount.

4. The idea of a holistic approach to wellness is appealing to Millennials. A nice “thank you for not smoking” doesn’t do much for employees that need ways to manage stress. A gym in the building where you work is nice, but the reality is that Millennials want to be able to work around their own schedule and if they are tied down to a gym that’s at their job, then they’ll see less of a benefit from having to stay at work all day. Millennials want to see employer-provided options like yoga classes, nutritionists, and mental health support to help create a balanced life. Even an employer-provided balanced breakfast would entice Millennials to keep up good work.

5. Respect. Millennials want to feel that they are trusted, respected and appreciated. Every year Crain’s Chicago Business does a survey on the best places to work in Chicago and other cities, and one of the biggest factors in the ratings  is workplace culture. Work cultures that support entrepreneurial efforts, maintain mentorships, or keep open communication among employees, regardless of title, get voted higher on the list of top places to work. The best part about this highly regarded aspect of workplace environment is that it’ll cost an employer nothing. Millennials just want to sit at the table with the other, more senior, employees and have a voice. Having a hands on approach to Millennials will keep them encouraged and on a learning path in their careers. 

Jack Takiguchi is a law clerk at Ancel Glink and a Millennial.