What Millennials Want at Work & Why They Might Leave Jobs

Millennials, like every generation before them, have the same desire to find employment that satisfies financial security and provides room for growth. While it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel for every candidate, it is important to remain focused on the organization or agency needs and goals. HR professionals must recognize that the latest generation of employees are more diverse, less religious, and more open minded than their predecessors. 

Ask any hiring manager and they can tell you, navigating multiple generations in the workplace is no easy task. With nearly five generations in the workforce now, there are distinct differences in experience when it comes to technology, communication, and diversity. 

Regardless of age, all workers have career goals and aspirations. As a socially conscious generation, Millennials want to be involved in a job or mission that brings change for the greater good. Essentially, what Millenials want at work, is to do something special with their chosen field or career.

Leadership must show interest in their workforce, with an environment rich in the following:   

Learning – Effective onboarding should include immediate opportunities for skill growth and the promise of education in the future. Opportunity to learn and develop will help retain Millennial employees. Millennials want to grow in their careers and require a higher level of engagement than previous generations. 

A self-driven platform allows employees to take ownership of their learning and development and improve their employee experience. This type of buy-in is one way HR services can redefine delivery of a learning landscape. 

Purpose – In a study done by Deloitte, 80 percent of Millennials surveyed said they would be more motivated at work if they felt their employer made a positive impact on society. Employers should keep workers engaged and make them part of the mission in the greater good of the community, industry, or cause. Even if the job or mission can’t save the world, employees can organize ways to give back to the community and let their voices be heard. 

In general, Millennials patronize and support companies that align with their values. The same is true when a professional or customer relationship is over, Millennials have no problem taking their business, employment, and values to another company who they feel will appreciate it. Younger generations, including Gen Z, will not hesitate to disagree with a company’s business practices, values or political learnings if they are archaic and out of touch.

Culture – A positive and productive work culture provides a sense of community. In as such, everyone shows accountability and respect for one another. Encourage collaboration among the entire staff, millennials in particular, and develop trust through transparency between teams, departments, and management. 

A workplace and its people can build a culture that every worker wants to be part of. As the culture expands, companies should make changes to embrace it. As an example, plan company outings, rearrange office space, or schedule group lunches to bring employees together. Be sure to include remote workers, they can participate via real-time apps as part of the team. 

Flexibility – The next generation of workers find themselves outside the brick and mortar office building and inside a home office space instead. Studies show that Millennials work well independently with clear instruction and solid goals. Some employers feel if the task is completed, it doesn’t matter if it’s done from the office next door or the coffee shop down the street. This type of flexibility can attract Millennials who are disciplined to get the job done no matter where they may be. 

As Millennials pursue experiences that allow them to achieve new goals, alternative work schedules appeal to the work-life balance this group of workers crave. This opportunity for personal growth and professional development can easily occur outside the office space.

Family Leave – While more and more Gen Xer’s care for both their children and elders, Millennials now mention these issues three times more than any other generation surveyed. As young couples start families, more and more fathers want paternity leave to participate and support their children, partners, and families. 

In a high trust culture in the workplace, Millennials are 50 percent more likely to plan a long-term future with the employer. When companies provide flexibility for employees whose families deal with life-changing events, such as childbirth or life-threatening illnesses, employees find this type of compassion builds a two-way relationship and loyalty to their employer.

Why do millennials leave jobs? 

Even though they are viewed as coddled and sensitive, this generation of workers value mobility and independence. They want responsibilities and feedback on how to do better. In fact, Millennials gravitate towards jobs that offer growth, otherwise, they become bored and unhappy. 

While Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce by 2020, they are leaving their jobs in record numbers. Here’s what we found as top reasons why millenials leave jobs:

Lack of Engagement – Vital to a new hire’s success, a strong onboarding strategy should make them feel welcome and motivated the moment they walk in the door. Performance reviews should take place more than just once a year, both formally and informally. According to a Gallup report, turnover due to millennial lack of engagement costs the U.S. economy around $30.5 billion annually. The report says millennials want to feel connected to their work and workplaces. They want to contribute. While their goal is to find a good job that fuels their sense of purpose, they are putting off marriage and mortgages to pursue their careers. Millennials may come across as wanting more and more, but the reality is they seek jobs that make them feel worthwhile and will keep looking until they find it.

Obsolete Management Styles – Old school management styles of yesteryear don’t appeal to Millennials. They don’t want bosses, they want coaches. Instead of one-sided annual reviews, Millennials prefer two-sided conversations about performance expectations, growth, and skill development. Millennials want managers who can recognize their value on a personal level and help them identify and develop their strengths and skills.

Unlike any generation in history, Millennials are comfortable with technology, masters of social media exchange, and in-tune with cultural trends. Bottom line, they are the future workforce and organizations should recognize their value. Onboard Millennial top talent and watch your success story unfold with the help of Acendre HR solutions. Contact us for more information.


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