What Millennials Want in the Workplace

By Jan Norwood

One of the arguments for having a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and/or a Supplier Diversity program is that Millennials are looking for companies that have them. If you don’t, you may get fewer applicants. You may think Millennials sure want a lot from their workplace. However, we’re discovering that they are not the only generation that wants the same from their workplace. You don’t have to be a Millennial to jump on board with their desires. Just like scanning reviews for your next restaurant to try, applicants of all ages are searching for organizations that have positive reviews from current or past employees on an inclusive environment. They also look for entities that do more in areas of social responsibility, improving their communities, creating equity, and many more important topics. 

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As Baby Boomers (born from 1946- 1964) are leaving the full-time workforce to enjoy retirement, the rise of Millennials (born from 1980-1988) is taking place and changing the culture of the workplace. By 2029, Millennials will make up more than 38.5 million of the labor force and outnumber all other age groups combined. (Torpey, 2020)

Business leaders need to know what Millennials expect and want from their workplace to meet those needs and develop the next generation of leaders. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Gallup, there are four things’ Millennials are looking for in their workplace. (O'Boyle, 2021)

  1. Millennials are looking for employers who care about their complete wellbeing. They want employers to look at the whole picture: career, social, financial, community and physical wellbeing. We spend so much time at work that it makes sense for these areas to be addressed.

  2. Millennials expect their organizational leaders to be ethical, honest, and trustworthy at work as well as on a global level. Millennials are looking to make a positive impact on others and the earth. Sounds reasonable. No one wants to work where things are shady or a visit from the Securities and Exchange Commission will bring everything to a halt.

  3. Millennials want their leaders to be open and transparent. As a result, employers may be asked to supply more facts, data, and even have third-party validation for them to feel confident in the leadership. No one wants to be in the dark when it comes to what is going on in the business.

  4. Millennials require leaders who support a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Lack of respect leads to distrust in an organization. The distrust in turn makes collaboration and honest communication impossible.

 

Younger workers are not the only ones that want to see these areas in a workplace. If your workplace isn’t addressing these needs, then it is time to open a conversation at the leadership level to improve your culture. (O'Boyle, 2021) Ask those Millennials for some help because they have some great ideas.