With millennials officially claiming their role as the largest generation in the workforce, discussions over what they want from their careers won’t stop any time soon. These entry-level young men and women will become the industry leaders of the next decade – as Inc. noted, a quarter of them will become managers in 2017 as 3.6 million baby boomers retire. By 2020, millennials will make up half the workforce. Therefore, it’s important not only to understand what this generation wants but also to design your organization to support their ambitions.
Flexibility, Not Schedules
While millennials aren’t inherently averse to the traditional 9-to-5 work week, they appreciate an employer that allows for some flexibility in terms of when they work. This is both a mix of lifestyle choice and necessity as more young parents are working. For millennials with children, a flexible work schedule allows them to raise children and put in their hours. Additionally, it allows them to pursue many other opportunities, such as working remotely, going to school or pursuing side projects.
If the latter concept worries you, note that Google is considered a top-tier employer amongst this generation. The company allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time working on personal projects that support either their peers or their consumers. The ability to work on something outside of normal work operations keeps millennials happy and engaged.
Leadership and Development, Not a Herd Mentality
Millennials are a generation of individuals, and they want to use their voices to bring something great to the table. However, they do need help getting started. That’s why millennials prefer working for a company that offers them leadership training and other sorts of career development opportunities. Contrary to popular belief, they want careers they can get invested in.
Therefore, your company needs to show its support for this generation. It can do so by establishing goal-setting and ongoing performance management practices, using objectives and key results to help millennials design their own careers. OKRs show that your business cares about what millennials want, and frequent check-ins to discuss their progress help them achieve these desires.
In some ways, millennials are a lot like the generations before them. They aren’t mysteries, but they have a different set of values and ambitions than their parents and grandparents.