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What Your Millennial Employees Want Out of Your Corporate Culture

Elizabeth Trompeter on January 12, 2017 09:00 AM

Here are some things you already know: Millennials are the largest workforce demographic. Companies are strategizing everyday on how to attract and retain today’s top young talent. It isn’t easy.

 You’re not alone if your company is struggling to understand and relate to this generation of working people. Although one thing is clear through recent research: Millennials respond to a positive corporate culture. And we aren’t talking about miscellaneous perks like wearing jeans to work, free lunches and ping-pong tournaments … although those definitely don’t hurt either. They are looking for the core elements of a company and its people that set them up for the most satisfaction and career success.

 According to Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, Millennials are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction where there is a creative, inclusive working culture. So, here are 5 of our ingredients to achieve a company culture your employees will love:

  1.  Work-Life Integration
    When excluding salary, Deloitte found good work-life balance as the top factor Millennials look for in a new job opportunity. How can you accomplish that? Flex time, for one. Letting your employees adopt a schedule that works for their lives (without sacrificing productivity) can help achieve greater results for you and work-life integration for the employee. The ability to make work and life co-exist successfully is especially important for your new and expecting parents. To that end, care benefits like paid leave and those offered through Care@Work (i.e. backup care and expert search assistance) are highly attractive to Millennial employees entering that phase of life. 

  1. Performance Management
    According to a Gallup Report from earlier this year, 44 percent of Millennials are more likely to be engaged when their manager holds regular meetings with them. Millennials are achievement-oriented. Setting up weekly meetings between employees and managers where they can lay out the goals and tasks for the week, as well as reflect on how they did the previous week is huge when setting young employees up with the confidence and purpose to do their job. To engage this demographic, consider migrating from standard yearly performance reviews to a culture based around more open, continuous communication and feedback.

  1. Sense of Purpose, Mission
    An important lever for Millennials these days has less to do with money, and a lot more to do with purpose. The mission of the company carries a huge weight with this generation and means so much more to a prospective employee than a big name or a well-known establishment. According to a report last year, 30 percent of Millennials consider meaningful work to be the most important factor in making them feel successful in their jobs. Having an overarching mission and purpose that is well-aligned with your employees can make a huge difference in employee engagement.  

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  1. Inclusion and Value
    Millennials are not like previous generations who expected to have to pay their dues. Today’s fresh young talent expects to walk into a meeting on their first day and have their ideas heard and valued. They want to contribute to the company and make a positive impact from day one. Creating a more inclusive, open sharing environment not only improves employee satisfaction and moral, but also opens management to newer, creative ways of solving problems they normally wouldn’t have thought of. Bringing them in on more meetings, updating them on important business decisions, and asking for their thoughts are all easy ways of achieving this.

  1. Transparency and Communication
    Millennials grew up in the age of information. They want to know what is going on with everything and everyone on a micro and macro level. How is the company actually doing financially and what are our over-arching future goals? What does that person do and how do they affect the company? What does my future look like here? They want to know as much as they can to make an educated decision on whether they should continue on at a company or look elsewhere. While this level of insight and detail isn’t always realistic, opening up communication channels can definitely help.

    According to Deloitte, Millennials express a greater sense of control if they work in organizations that support their ambitions, align with their values, feature a collaborative and trust-based working culture, and have a strong sense of purpose. The people most likely to stay at a company share their organization’s values and are satisfied with its sense of purpose and support of professional development.

So why should your company invest time and effort into creating a millennial-friendly corporate culture? The truth is that a good corporate culture benefits all employees, and even the company on a larger level.

According to a 2015 Glassdoor study, companies who were rated highly on ‘Best Places to Work’ lists had their stocks outperform the market and those companies who were rated poorly. In short, corporate culture positively impacts performance and profits.

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