3 Things Millennials Look for in the Workplace

5 min read

Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials were the largest demographic in the US in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million. 

With an often in-depth knowledge of tech and a keen understanding of consumer trends, young professionals have a great deal to offer potential employers. Coming of age in a post-2000 world, they have different expectations of professional life than older generations.

Making your company a destination to work for can both attract and retain talent. Understanding what matters for this fastest-growing population in the workforce helps leaders foster an environment that attracts young professionals and enables them to thrive.

Learning and development

Opportunities for learning and professional growth are key motivators for millennial employees. According to research from management consultancy firm Gallup, 59% of job seekers in this age bracket describe these factors as “extremely important” when seeking a new role. 

In comparison, 44% of Generation X members and 41% of baby boomers respond in the same way. Unsurprisingly, younger people nearer the start of their career place greater emphasis on their future prospects than older workers who may be more settled in their careers.

Offering in-house training or paying towards tuition for external courses are tried-and-tested ways of fostering a culture of learning and development. However, there are other (less expensive) ways to nurture your employees:

  • Mentoring young professionals with more senior staff or external experts
  • Set up regular one-to-one sessions between young employees and leadership
  • Hold a masterclass with experts across your company or third-party speakers
  • Invest in career advancement coaching

Meaningful careers

Over 50% of millennials want a career that provides personal fulfillment with a company that takes part in social change. According to Gallup, young professionals want their “jobs to have meaning; they want to feel invested in and challenged by their work, not bored with it.”

Young professionals want their work to be a career, not just a job they are clocking in and out of. Their career needs to have a purpose, make them feel like they’re making a difference, and provide a sense of satisfaction. They want to be valued as members of the company and have their employer invest in their success and believe the company they work for stands for something. 

To engage young professionals, leaders can emphasize the more dynamic aspects of roles and the tangible outcomes of successful projects. Likewise, highlight any corporate social change efforts or sustainability practices your company has in place.

Advancement opportunities

Opportunities for advancement are “extremely important” for 50% of millennials seeking a new role. Given the relative youth of such workers, it’s no surprise that these employees take a forward-thinking approach to their careers.

Young professionals want:

  • Clearly communicated expectations 
  • An understanding of the process and likely time frame for advancement
  • Frequent, personalized feedback on how they can improve their chances of a promotion or raise

Even if there are not ample opportunities for vertical advancement within your company, educate employees on other ways they can grow. Working with a career coach, employees learn that advancement isn’t always about promotions and how they can add value to their company while achieving a high level of job satisfaction.

With their unique set of skills and youthful zeal, millennial employees could be ideally placed to help your business excel in a constantly changing landscape. To attract and retain top talent, leaders and managers need to rethink their workplace model and serve to support the needs of young professionals. 

Putting in the time and effort will be well worth it if you want to future-proof your business and connect with younger professionals. Learn more about how CareerPoint can help you provide an employee perk that benefits both your company and employees.

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