There has been much talk and reporting over the last few years on the makeup of millennials in the workplace; how they work, what motivates them and how they compare to older generations.
Whilst a seeming majority of research into the topic, and certainly the sentiment, seems to lean towards the younger workplace being harder to manage, motivate and retain, there’s a lot of evidence out there that suggests we’ve maybe just been looking in the wrong places. Or, at least, asking the wrong questions.
It’s estimated three-in-four workers in the next six years will be millennials, so now is as good as time as any to really to get grips with what it is that inspires and helps keep the most talented in this cohort.
For example, according to CBRE’s Millennials: Myths and Realities report, 62% said they would prefer to change jobs as infrequently as possible, somewhat dispelling the idea that millennials are happy job-hoppers.
Most interestingly though from the report was an analysis of how millennials view, and what they value, in the workplace.
Nearly 80% see the quality of their workspace as important, with four in ten saying that the provision of wellness facilities was important too.
Interestingly, especially in the age of open-plan offices, just 33% said they preferred a collaborative workplace, with two-in-three even saying they aspire to have their own office.
But the availability of an on-site gym and quality of office fit-out aside, there are a number of other factors that millennials value too - aside from pay and career prospects.
The want to do meaningful work, be part of organisations with small hierarchy levels and the opportunity to work flexibly are all up there on the list of importance.
And another key factor is feeling that their work is recognised and appreciated.
Recognition is a key player when it comes to why millennial workers are more likely to be browsing job boards looking for their next career-hop.
Research from Office Team found that 76% of millennials who don’t feel their work is appreciated would consider leaving - a huge number and one that should be of real concern for organisations who already rely heavily on this age group and may already be seeing a high staff churn.
Whilst for older generations in the workforce, the scheduled service reward, company car allowance and annual bonus sufficed when it came to keeping staff engaged and motivated, younger workers desire more frequent showings of appreciation.
Some managers are already great at recognising great work, but for some, it can be a challenge. In fact, over half of senior executives say they understand that a lack of recognition is a key reason why employees leave their organisation.
One option for organisations who have a recognition issue is to empower employees to show appreciation for each other's work. This approach, called peer-to-peer recognition, creates a space where recognition can take place, without the need for managers to consistently drive the program.
How does your organisation create a culture that’s fit for the millennial workforce? Let me know in the comments below!