Who are GEN Y?

What Millennials want...

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are defined as the generation born between early 1980s until early 2000s.This generation are driving unprecedented change in both business and society as technology, globalization and new communications have become an integral part of their lives. They are used to living a fast-paced, technology driven and autonomous lifestyle.

Like every new generation, Millennials are often misunderstood. This leads to myths about this generation. Most commonly that they are unpredictable, aggressively ambitious and impatient for promotion and are not prepared to put in the effort to achieve success in their careers.

According to research conducted by Gallup’s report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” they are the generation most likely to look for and change jobs. This has given them a reputation as being job hoppers. Through their research Gallup found that 21% of Millennial workers had left their job in the last year to do something else. This represents is over three times higher than that of non-Millennials. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey Research suggests that 66% of Millennials expect to leave their current employers by 2020. This poses a serious challenge to any business employing a significant number of Millennials and suggests a growing myth around Millennials that they are not brand loyal. This is referred to as the ‘loyalty challenge’ in the Deloitte survey. Millennials are currently the largest generation in the US.

So, what exactly are Millennials looking for in a job and in a company?

In general, Millennials mostly want the same things from their employers as other generations such as great managers, development opportunities and a role that is suited to their strengths, values and interests. In fact a growing body of evidence suggests that employees of all ages are much more alike than different in their attitudes and values at work. All employees seek the opportunity to learn and grow, the opportunity for career development and for a manager who supports and invest in them. The difference with Millennials is that they place a greater emphasis on these opportunities to learn and grow and on opportunities for advancement. In addition, they want a clear purpose, clear KPI’s, a clear link between the work they are doing and the company vision.

Once Millennials have clear understanding of their purpose they then want autonomy to get the job done but on the way to delivering they want regular feedback and mentoring. They want to make a difference, they want to see the impact of their efforts and they want to be praised for the results they achieve. It seems they are clear on what they want so why are employers not listening? Why do they not recognise this? The reality is that companies are struggling to cope up with Millennials needs as traditional business methods seem insufficient.

By 2025 75% of the workforce will be Millennials so it’s time to embrace this new generation as they are the business leaders of tomorrow. As they now move into management positions companies cannot afford to ignore their needs any longer. Working out what they want is important to employers with the key question being how to secure their loyalty?

On the flip side, Millennials’ willingness to switch jobs and companies presents a substantial attraction opportunity for organizations. Ultimately, Millennials are consumers of the workplace. They shop around for the jobs that best align with their needs and life goals. More than ever, employers need to know and act on the factors that make their company appealing to these candidates. They have to make it easy for prospects to choose them over their competition.

Although income is not among Millennials’ top five factors when applying for jobs, it still matters to them when looking for a job, as it does to all employees. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that when money is removed from the equation, work/life balance and opportunities to progress or take on leadership roles stand out for Millennials. Flexible working arrangements, getting a sense of meaning, and training programmes that support professional development are all factors this generation consider attractive from an employer perspective.

If your company wants to do a focus on addressing the ‘loyalty challenge’ it’s important to understand what motivates Millennials, what doesn’t, and the delicate balance between the two.

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