Millennials Looking for Strong Workplace Culture

Work groups

The next generation of business leaders, Millennials, provide companies with a huge talent pool.The problem is that not all businesses understand the millennial mindset. Instead, they choose to believe the erroneous reports that this generation is somehow uninterested in getting deeply and truly involved with employers, possibly due to waning attention spans.

The truth is that millennials have a desire to be a part of corporations, and will be loyal to their companies as long as the company exhibits a strong culture. What does “strong” mean exactly? It depends on the millennial. However, some of the corporate qualities most attractive to millennial workers include the following:

#1: Flexible Hours

While some businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, must adhere to rigid working times for employees, those that can be fluid may find themselves appealing to millennial job seekers. It’s a common misconception that millennials don’t want to work; they truly do. They simply want flexible scheduling. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 3 in 4 millennials noted that flexibility played a huge factor when deciding whether to take a position.

#2: Flat Organizations with Non-Rigid Hierarchies

As a group, millennials are outspoken and unafraid to share their ideas. Flatter organizational structures with open communication between all levels of management tend to make a positive impact on job seekers from Gen Y. If a flat hierarchy is impossible for a business, an open-door policy between coworkers can provide the same outcomes.

#3: Opportunities for Education

Education and leadership training opportunities will help keep millennials satisfied at a company. These need not be outrageously expensive for the employer. For smaller businesses, a modest budget set aside for employee certifications, leadership courses or even a company library can satisfy these needs. Internship opportunities, such as leadership development programs, that offer tremendous chances to get ahead and learn new skills are also very popular among Millennials.

#4: Opportunities to Work Globally

International companies or those seeking to move into broader markets may be wise to consider hiring millennials. On the whole, the generation is fond of traveling and want to see what the world has to offer. They’re also typically not as tied down as their generational counterparts from the Generation X and Baby Boomer categories. Consequently, they may jump at the chance to expand their horizons while doing their best work.

#5: Employee Recognition

Although Millennials are definitely independent, they want to feel that their contributions are valued by employers. Employee recognition, whether informal or formal, will help them feel part of the team.

#6: Collaborative Work Groups

For whatever reason, Gen Yers seem to intrinsically know how to work well in collaborative groups. This may have something to do with their educational backgrounds, or the way their parents raised them. In any case, millennial workers want to be able to reach out to coworkers and explore issues, solve problems and bring about change.

#7: Technology-Based Workplaces

The last thing a millennial wants to do is work for a company where technology is shunned. Millennials have been brought up with the Internet, mobile devices and more. Not only are they comfortable with technology, but they also want to use it to make their jobs flow more efficiently.

#8: Social and Community Impacts

Corporate giving and volunteer opportunities sponsored by the employer are dreams come true for millennials; 64% said it’s a priority to make the world a better place. Not only are they a generation that believes in constantly giving back, but they’re truly encouraged when they can see how they’re impacting their neighborhoods, cities and regions. Some company-based volunteer choices can include walk-a-thons, drives and other creative fundraising opportunities.

It’s not a matter of whether to bring millennials into a workplace, but when to start changing the corporate culture to appeal to them. After all, they’re not going anywhere, except to the competition.

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About Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and founder of Punched, sharing advice for young professionals navigating the work world. Passionate about saving the planet, Sarah enjoys writing about environmental initiatives and ways to be kind to our earth. For more from Sarah, connect with her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

2 thoughts on “Millennials Looking for Strong Workplace Culture

  1. Avatar Danny Rubin says:

    Sarah…which of these aspects do you think is MOST important? I think it’s #2. Open communication is key.

  2. Avatar Sarah says:

    Great question! It’s a tough one but I’d have to agree with #2. The others are very important but some of them are only “perks.” An organization cannot thrive without open communication!

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