The millennial generation, also sometimes referred to as Gen Y, currently makes up a significant — and growing — portion of the workforce.
By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be comprised of millennial employees, according to an EY forecast. In the U.S., more than one-in-three U.S workers now are from the approximately 18- to 34-year-old age group.
The millennial generation’s size isn’t its only characteristic feature. Numerous surveys have found Gen Y employees’ views on communication, oversight and some other job elements differ from Gen X, Z and baby boomer generations’ workplace preferences.
With millennials becoming an increasingly large workforce component — and, according to an MSL report involving workers in six countries, nearly half of millennial employees planning to leave their current employer after two years — companies have an increased incentive to figure out if the way they’re managing millennials is meeting the generation’s expectations.
The key to successfully holding on to valued Gen Y employees may boil down to one brief, yet important question: Do you know what millennials want?
If you don’t, it’s time to find out. A few of their desired workplace attributes include:
Advancement and leadership opportunities
MSL’s report found more than 40 percent of millennial employees plan to be in a senior management position or running their own company within a few years of graduating college.
Career progression is a top priority for the millennial generation. PwC research found the ability to rise rapidly through an organization was the main thing that attracted 52 percent to their employer.
The chance to learn new, specialized skills
Nearly all – 95 percent of millennials – want job-specific training, compared to 83 percent of baby boomers, according to a 2016 Society for Human Resource Management report on employee job satisfaction and engagement.
An involved, upfront manager
Nearly a third of millennial employees acknowledge having a manager is important to their professional growth. More than a quarter — 28 percent — feel it’s important for a manager to make time for them, and 56 percent value honest feedback from their supervisor, according to an Addison Group survey.
For more on recruiting and managing millennials in the workplace, view our post on ways you can win the millennial generation talent war and download our free white paper on the impact generational diversity stands to have on the workforce — which contains helpful information about how both millennial and baby boomer trends could affect your organization’s succession planning efforts.
For more information on hiring and managing other age groups, our posts on key employee satisfaction drivers, getting ready for the Z generation and appointing a Gen Y or X manager may also provide some additional insight.