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What Millennials really want

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,People Management

by Dov Baron

millennialsBy 2025, Millennials will become 75% of the global workforce. That means that the number of this generation who are stepping into management positions is growing every single day.

They are the largest, most diverse, most educated and most electronically connected generation in the history of mankind, and any company that thinks that it can ignore them should know it’s only a matter of time before it will be out of business.

Companies must pay attention to Millennials—in a big way.

What’s more, if you are a leader in a large multinational organization, you will face additional challenges. Here’s why: Research shows that Millennials are more likely to be attracted to working at small firms because they like the “start-up culture.” They want to choose when and where to work.

A start-up’s culture usually facilitates them being able to dress casually, have workplace flexibility and be innovative.

Smaller companies also provide an environment where they can get involved with various business activities, too.

Millennials are generally not “one person, one job” kind of people. HR research shows that Millennials are turned off by the fact that large companies often have a disheartening interview process that makes them feel like a “thing” rather than a person with something to offer.

Many Millennials are not driven by money or success in quite the way Generation X or the Boomer generation were.

This generation wants meaningful work. This means that they want to know what your organization stands for.

Should they join your company, they want to know if they will be a part of what they see as damaging or improving society.

Nearly three-fourths want to make a direct social and environmental impact.

Millennials want to know that if they join your organization, they will be able to make a positive difference in the world.

They want to know what your  company really stands for in action, as opposed to some theoretical blowing of smoke up the rear end of a new recruit.

In fact, one Millennial’s response was fairly typical: “If the work I am doing has no meaning or impact, I don’t think I will stay with that employer ... I need meaningful work. I want to contribute to the company’s strategic planning and be asked what I think ... A lot of Millennials find meaning in our personal volunteer experiences. If a company would provide opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community as well, we would be hooked. We just need to be asked.”

As a leader, do you get that? I mean, are you really listening?

Because that response just gave you a crystal clear vision of the vast majority of your future leaders.


Dov Baron is a best-selling author and keynote speaker on the international circuit. This article was excerpted from his new book Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent.


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