Millennials - More than meets the eye

Employer advice

When reading the media it seems that millennials have been sussed. What they want from life, work and even their spending habits has been revealed. However are millennials that easy to define or are they more complex than people may assume?

We conducted a survey amongst our millennial candidate database and the results showed a multifaceted generation that want to strive far in their careers and organisations can work with them to achieve it.

Millennials strive for a higher salary but steer away from financial incentives

A quick search engine research on what millennials want in a role will conjure up results stating that Generation Y look for career progression above everything else. That's not quite the case according to the results. Our survey revealed that the most important element of a good working environment was in fact salary. Having been witnesses to the 2008 recession where family members may have lost their jobs and employment was at risk, millennials will want to feel financially secure in a role. Bonus schemes however were the last want on a millennial's wishlist. Positions that offer a base salary with the great opportunity for financial increase from hitting personal targets may not be what millennials seek anymore. Financial stability and value is key for Generation Y employees.

Acknowledge their efforts or they'll look elsewhere

When it comes to the carrot and stick everyone has a different preference on what they look for as a reward. Millennials simply request you acknowledge their hard work. Managers do not need to be ostentatious when giving praise as the most favoured incentive for Generation Y employees was informal praise. With nearly a quarter of participants stating that informal praise was the top motivator at work, it's the small, personal gestures from managers that mean the most and will encourage millennials to work and stay loyal.

Formal praise came in joint third alongside team targets and again bonus schemes came last with just 7%. It is clear that managers cannot pigeon-hole this generation and praise all in the same way as it may not be how they want to be rewarded. Speak to your employees one-on-one to find out how they work and what encourages them to achieve their targets. By not communicating and showing millennials that the work they do is appreciated could result in an unhappy, unmotivated workforce and even a decrease in retention.

Career driven with a teamwork mindset

Millennials want to work hard and be acknowledged. If their efforts however, do not lead to career progression or development through training and promotions, they will begin to look for new opportunities outside of your organisation. When asked what is more important than salary, over a third answered career progression, closely followed by finding the perfect role. This shows that millennials want to continually strive for better in their careers, doing so at the cost of a reduced salary and even over their perceived perfect role if it does not offer further development.

To assume that millennials are determined and that they're willing to step on their co-workers toes in order to get ahead would be wrong. Teamwork ranked in the top 3 highest factors for what is necessary to create a good working environment and increase work motivation. Millennials are ambitious but being part of a team is paramount to achieving workplace happiness and productivity for this generation and managers should not ignore the power of building a strong workforce that are one.

Organisations are not meeting millennial expectations

Over half of respondents admitted that they will be applying for a new role within the next 3 months. Millennials' job-hopping status still rings true and if their wants are not being met by their current employer Generation Y workers will happily go in search of finding an employer that will.

Aren't we all just as complex?

Our millennial survey has revealed unique insights into the millennial mindset. They may appear challenging on first glance for organisations to manage however, everyone has different wants and some generations could be even more contradictory and demanding. The key to managing millennials is learning to balance their needs. Show their financial worth but do not use money as an incentive; acknowledge their strong work ethic and talent and continue to push their knowledge and skillset without taking them away from the team environment. Communicate with your millennial employees and work together, they are a uniquely skilled generation that are set to dominate the global workforce within the next 10 years and it's time for organisations to get to know who the true millennial really is.

Get prepared for the next generation that are filtering into the workforce and find out how Generation Z can transform your workplace.