Millennials have a bad rap. Born in the early ‘80s to the early 2000s, they are frequently referred to as the “me, me, me” generation and the “most narcissistic generation of all time.” Every generation has its own quirks and flaws, and while Generation Y is all about the selfies and constant status updates, they are much more collaborative and thoughtful than we think.
At work, this group crave the opportunity to make a positive difference. They want to learn from experienced managers in the form of mentorship opportunities, and they thrive in team environments.
Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, so it’s time we start listening to what they need professionally. Here are seven things they look for in organizational culture:
Flexible schedules: This group values work-life balance, and strongly embrace the idea of telecommuting. They are constantly connected, so they don’t see a huge difference between their quality of work whether they are in the office or working from home. They appreciate perks like flextime, unlimited PTO, and occasional telecommuting.
Social responsibility: Millennials want to make a tangible difference at work and in their communities. They’re actively looking for organizations that offer volunteering opportunities, company-wide service days, or ways they can use their skills to benefit a cause.
Team collaboration: 88% of these employees prefer a collaborative culture rather than a competitive one. Millennials are used to working in teams, and believe a group of people can accomplish more together.
Mentorship opportunities: Generation Y wants to deepen their skill sets and receive frequent feedback on their work, and providing a mentor is the perfect answer. According to a survey by Millennial Branding and American Express, 53% of Gen Y-ers said a mentorship relationship would help them become better and more productive members of the company.
Transparency: They grew up in the digital era, where news and data were ready and accessible 24/7. Millennials are used to quick, transparent information and expect a similar level of openness from an organization. They know that most information ends up on the Internet at some point anyway, and would much rather hear it from their company first.
Room for fun: Gen Y wants to enjoy their work and make friends at the office. They are more productive and engaged when they are happy, so they appreciate company events, casual lunches, and the freedom to relax and laugh with their colleagues.
Leadership potential: Nearly 25% of Gen Y employees want a chance to prove their leadership ability in the workplace. As such, they look for and flourish in roles where they can lead a team and collaborate with colleagues.
Millennials are a powerful demographic that organizations can’t afford to alienate. Sure, they may seem like a foreign, different generation with their constant texting, Instagramming, and tweeting, but underneath all the technology, they want the same things everyone else does: a fun, collaborative workplace where they can grow and evolve.
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