We’ve all heard the complaints; Millennials care more about their hair than their job, they have a blatant disregard for the “way things work.” Older employees may be disenchanted with Milliennials in the workplace, but employers are going out of their way to make sure young people stick around.
According to an interview printed in the Chicago Tribune, Millennials crave “mobility and moving within the company…it is striking the level of ongoing importance (Millennials) place on that.” Young people have grown tired of gigantic hierarchies that prevent people from being promoted and recognized for their abilities. Employers are beginning to realize this development and are “trying to develop a culture where people feel comfortable asking for different experiences to grow and given opportunities to make that happen.”
Flexibility is also a big factor in young people deciding to stay in a job long-term. Now that Millennials’ lives have gone almost completely mobile, they want their job to be more than sitting at a desk inside a stuffy cubicle. Wanting to contact clients at unorthodox hours from their homes and listen to music at work, young people are changing the definition of what it means to “go to work.”
Increasingly, Millennials are getting more and more business experience prior to entering the professional workforce. An infographic from the University of North Carolina gives insight as to how; approximately 30% of those surveyed had started a business in college and another 35% have started a side business. Since large hierarchical businesses tend to ignore experiences outside of the formal workplace, young people seek recognition and praise of their business endeavors.
Millennials are constantly seeking feedback on their performances, yet another difference that companies are being forced to address. As a vice-president of a company interviewed by the Wall Street Journal remarked, “Managers here usually give quarterly feedback sessions. Millennials want it after a presentation.” Taught to perpetually question every minute detail of every essay, every presentation, young people need to know how they’re doing and how they can do it better much sooner than past generations.
This represents another growing trend among Millennials: expecting much more personal attention and mutual respect from employers.
Some may ask, “Why would firms be so compliant in responding to the demands of young, inexperienced workers?” According to the infographic by UNC, 46% of America’s workforce will be Millennials in 2020. Young people are a force to be reckoned with, and companies must instill change in the fabric of the workplace if they wish to retain incoming workers. Firms are aware of the challenges Millennials bring to the table. If they don’t respond swiftly (and they’ll be huffing it to keep up with young people), Millennials will leave them in the dust.
Haley Samsel is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. She is a high school sophomore who lives in Plano, Texas, which gives her a pretty unique view (in her opinion) on politics and Millennial issues. Outside of the Millennial Report, Haley enjoys playing basketball, reading biographies and watching cooking competition shows, among other things.