3 Ways Millennials are Creating a more Engaging Workplace

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Within the last three (3) years, Millennials (born 1982-2004) have become the largest demographic workforce group in the U.S. The perception of Millennials is that they are lazy and entitled. However, recent studies say they are actually one of the most engaged generations and their preference for meaningful work; better benefits, and greater flexibility are helping drive positive changes across their organizations.

Here are three ways Millennials are bringing beneficial changes to their workplaces:

Prioritizing Work with a Purpose

Millennials prize meaning and purpose in their work. A recent study concluded that 60% of Millennials believe having a position where they are able to utilize their top strengths is "very important." Similarly, they consider professional development opportunities in their current role to be "very important." This aligns with Millennials' desire to know how their current role fits into their longer-term career path. They are more likely than Gen Xers and baby boomers to view professional development as key to their job satisfaction.

Creating a workplace that attracts and retains Millennials involves defining your core mission and company values. It can be worthwhile to have an employee orientation program and take part in continuing efforts to engage your employees around your company mission. Technology can also be deployed to help establish a greater social ties among employees. Telepresence technology can bridge the gap between teams working in different locations. Collaboration platforms can allow employees to work closely with one another regardless of geography. Millennials are also interested in promoting social responsibility, including in their work. They are drawn to companies that emphasize the importance of work-based volunteer programs and offer opportunities for their employees to give back to their community.

Placing Greater Value on Benefits and Perks

While onsite fitness centers and pet-friendly offices are the perks associated with Millennials, it turns out this generation actually values the same benefits as previous generations, namely those tied to good quality of life, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation time. In fact, Millennials prioritize these workplace benefits at higher rates than Gen Xers and baby boomers. Millennials display a willingness to change jobs for better benefits, especially when it will improve the quality of life for themselves and their family members.

Searching for Flexibility in Terms of When and Where They Work

Another major factor in Millennials' job satisfaction are work-from-home opportunities. Flexible scheduling and work-from-home options are critical in employees' decision-making about whether to stay with a company. With their skill managing different technologies and their multi-tasking abilities, millennials are in many ways well suited for working remotely. According to a recent study, splitting time between the office and home has also been shown to boost engagement. While previous generations also valued flexibility, Millennials rate work-life balance more highly. Millennials, particularly young parents, value work-from-home opportunities as its allow greater accommodation in caring for children.

The changes Millennials desire and push for in their workplaces are things other generations have also valued, but perhaps not always as strongly. In turn, by creating a meaningful workplace, providing benefits, and offering flexibility, you not only engage Millennial employees, but also help create a company with more engaged employees of all generations.

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