“Millennials” – a sweeping term that broadly applies to people born between 1980 and the early 2000s – have been the subject of countless articles and blog posts.
And, as people born in this period have moved into the workplace, they have also been the subject of many studies looking at how they can best be integrated into the workplace and the kind of skills they are likely to bring.
Going by some findings, the skills are numerous. As one of the most highly-educated generations ever and the first truly digital native generation, millennials are genuine assets within a business because they can bring fresh perspectives and new approaches into the workplace.
Wellbeing for a millennial generation
A report published by Robert Half found that only one in ten millennials struggle to strike a work-life balance, coping significantly better than other age groups, and 92% of millennials declared they are happy at work.
These are promising findings, given that the general trend of research on the topic of workplace productivity has demonstrated that happier employees are likely to be more productive employees (we’ve written about how a negative environment can harm productivity here).
They are also less stressed, have more friends in the workplace and feel more appreciated than their Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues and co-workers.
The same report found that, generally, employees of smaller companies were happier, potentially giving small, independent businesses an edge when it comes to recruiting millennials.
Recruiting millenial talent
Over the coming years, millennials will make up a greater proportion of the workforce, and so it will be important to introduce appealing measures to attract and retain millennial employees.
With these benefits in mind, what can be done to bring millennials into your business? Paid work experience or internships could be a great way to start. If you are able to do so, establishing an apprenticeship programme or graduate scheme could offer a more long-term solution to bringing in a new generation of workers.
Publications by PwC and other organisations have highlighted those issues which most matter to millennials in the workplace. These reports offer a raft of suggestions when it comes to attracting millennials, including flexible approaches to work, regular formal feedback and streamlined corporate structures.
A whitepaper published by Robert Walters discusses how to attract millennials to the workplace and how to keep them engaged as employees. Understandably (and unsurprisingly), career progression is cited in the paper as the most important factor.
Millennials are also prepared to change jobs to chase better career development opportunities, according to the same report. The other top motivators for seeking new employment include a higher salary or a more fulfilling role. These same findings are supported by the PwC report.
Training is another important aspect of work for millennials., though further education is less important, according to the Robert Walters report.
As such, it’s important that employers deliver what they promise. It’s no good laying out a pathway for progression which doesn’t see any employees follow it.
Another important factor to consider is that millennials are the first digital-native generation, and so can adjust to new technologies and tools within the workplace. According to the Robert Walters report, investing in the latest technologies and systems is another way to appeal to millennial workers.
Remember that each of the reports cited above are based on sample groups of different sizes, and may not be entirely representative. For some millennials, the above will hold true; for others, it may be wide of the mark or entirely incorrect.
Ultimately, as is the case with any employee from any generation, millennials want an environment that offers security, the opportunity for career progression, and a culture of positivity. Providing these conditions can help you to attract and retain not just millenial employees, but talent from all demographics.