What Millennials are looking for in the Workplace

Posted On October 1, 2015 by Chain Reaction

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Get insights from a Millennial on company culture, work/life, balance, and more.

Imagine a business environment where everyone is between the ages of 21 and 33. People come into the office whenever they want and leave when their work meets their standards. The walls are covered with sticky notes detailing project ideas, guidelines, and deadlines. Employees are spread throughout the building in small “brainstorm groups;” on weekends, all employees team up to do community service and work on neighborhood projects. You have entered into many Millennials’ ideal company culture – in my mind, at least.

The basis for an ideal company culture for Millennials includes flexibility, clarity, group work projects, values pertaining to people and the community, efforts to better the environment, and of course, a great salary and a reasonable amount of vacation time to travel – just to name a few. The days of dress codes, strict working hours, and other outdated company rules are out the window.

Contrary to popular belief, Millennials don’t see the separation between their work lives and “outside lives.” Dixie Gillaspie says it best in her article, “5 Ways Millennials are Like No Generation before Them” – “They believe in life, not work/life balance.” For me, believing in this united life and flexibility explains exactly how Millennials view the workplace. It’s not that Millennials do not want to work, but that we have our own idea of culture in the workplace – and we will search at length to find a company that aligns with our values.

We are traveling outside of the country more than previous generations – while maintaining a full-time job. Some of us are running our own businesses while balancing time with our family and friends. These are all parts of our life, which is why flexibility at work is valued. For us, work is a part of experiencing life – not a separate entity.

People, planet, and profit – these are the three Ps that should be the basis of ethics for companies; they have become a guiding light for Millennials when looking for companies to join. One of the main reasons Millennials value companies not all about profit came from the climate during their youth. Millennials grew up in an environment where they saw big businesses taken down for making unethical choices. Examples of the most notorious scandals include the BP oil spill and the Enron scandal. From this, most Millennials no longer trust big business – making it difficult for them to work for companies that don’t align with their ethics and values.

Taken from a Deloitte survey, Ray Gillenwater found that, “6 out of 10 Millennials say a sense of purpose was part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer.”

What is life without purpose, right? Most Millennials believe in the power of doing good for the people and the planet – which gives organizations devoted to helping the community  and environment an advantage when it comes to hiring Millennial talent. If you want Millennials, make sure your mission highlights priorities other than just making a profit.

If you want to attract fresh, innovative, and technologically-advanced Millennial employees, combine time for new experiences and selflessness; also, don’t forget purpose and profit – combined into a sweet little bundle and offer it as a package for all prospective employees. Give Millennials what they want while adding some culture and flexibility to your company.