Far too often, millennial employees are mistakenly labeled as entitled, unsatisfied job-hoppers. According to a Gallup study, however, it’s not that they’re necessarily entitled. Instead, it’s that many of them feel indifferent and detached. According to the study, only 29 percent of millennials are engaged and feel an emotional and behavioral connection to their job and company. What’s more, another 16 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they are susceptible to burning out or negatively impacting a company.
That’s a whopping 55 percent of millennial workers who do not feel engaged with their work. So what does this mean? Are all millennial employees a risk to your company? Are they all actively seeking new opportunities?
While situations certainly vary from company to company, overall, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a 2015 IBM study indicates that 47 percent of Gen X’ers would leave their job for one that offers more money, compared to 42 percent of millennials. Additionally, 70 percent of baby boomers think their organization ineffectively addresses the customer experience, compared to 60 percent of millennials.
As this illustrates, many millennials’ thoughts and beliefs aren’t all that different than their older peers. They don’t all need a trophy for every single accomplishment, and not every millennial is willing to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their agenda. Read on to find out what type of corporate culture supports the success of millennials and in turn, the organization.
What Do Millennials Value?
For starters, it’s worth noting that the millennial workforce is more racially and ethnically diverse than those before them. According to the Brookings Institute, this racial diversity is the generation’s most defining and impactful characteristic. This diversity has led to a more accepting and charitable collective worldview, as illustrated in a recent Deloitte survey, which showed that 77 percent of millennials are involved in charity or a “good cause.”
Since 2013, Deloitte has measured millennial world and professional views. As this year’s survey illustrates, many feel accountable, to a fair degree, for many issues in both the workplace and the world at large, but that they are unable to make a meaningful influence. It’s in the workforce, however, that they feel a greater sense of control. It’s here where they feel most impactful. They are excited by the influence they can have on their peers, customers, and suppliers, even if the impact is on a smaller scale.
Despite the fact that many struggle with debt, millennial workers are generally not motivated by money. Instead, as the Deloitte survey already illustrates, they are driven by making the world more compassionate, sustainable, and innovative. To drive this point home, according to a Net Impact survey, 40 percent of millennials deem getting a job that can make a difference as “very important.”
Aligning Culture with These Values
As a whole, millennials are driven by making a difference. The truth is that many companies use words such as “impact” and “purpose-driven” without truly understanding what they mean to their organization. To help attract and retain millennial team members, it’s up to your organization to implement the type of corporate culture that not only discusses altruistic views, but also embodies them.
While it’s true that not every company can save the world, they can certainly strive to be transparent about how they’re using technology and resources. They can also strive to create shared value and enact social and environmental changes. Remember, it’s not necessarily the scope of the impact that millennial workers care about—it’s the efforts in the first place.
Part of this rests in your organization’s ability to align its cultures with the values of your millennial employees. In the same Deloitte study, 86 percent of respondents believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with the top issue ranking as “education, skills, and training.” In this regard, it’s important to create opportunities for development, coaching, and mentorship.
As the Gallup study illustrates, the relationship between a manager and its millennial employees is a vital link in performance management. In fact, 44 percent of millennials are likely to be engaged with managers who hold regular meetings. Consistent feedback not only impacts engagement, but it also produces positive performance. Employees who regularly meet with management perform better for their team and company.
Providing feedback and implementing a leadership development program not only aligns your organization with values shared by a majority of millennial employees, but it can also result in growth for both your employees and your company. These programs enable you to cultivate leaders from within your organization. By offering leadership training to your entire organization, you’re able to ensure that frontline professionals with no direct reports can develop their individual potential and leadership strengths.
About the author
Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.