What Millenials Love (and hate)




In less than 10 years Millennials will dominate the workforce. Are you ready?

Probably the most reliable data available on Millennials can be found in Deloitte’s Millennial Survey, whose results are based upon the answers from nearly 8,000 Millennials questioned across 30 countries.

If you are looking to hire from the Millennial pool, there are some things you need to know. Let’s start with the things that Millennials, according to survey results, truly hate about today’s business world.

Hierarchy. Business structures that worked well during the Industrial Age are almost totally irrelevant today. Even so, many companies, especially those established during the industrial age or their direct descendants, continue to operate in completely obsolete fashion. Heavy reliance on “top down management” is one example that drives Millennials crazy. The modern workforce, i.e., Millennials, desire a flat structure that allows the freedom to be inclusive so they can collaborate, participate, innovate and self-organize.

In Worldblu research, organizations that promote freedom-centered leadership (versus, hierachical, fear-based leadership) create cultures in which everybody -- regardless of title, rank or position -- has the choice and responsibility to exercise leadership skills. The companies in the research that promote an inverted pyramid of freedom, autonomy, and democracy saw an average cumulative revenue growth rate over a three-year period that was 6.7 times greater than that of the S&P 500 companies.

Upper Management Hoarding Information is another hated practice of the old way of doing things. Transparency is expected. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it is critical to share and promote information immediately. Your employees will not be able to innovate or even function well at the rate and speed you need unless they have open access to relevant, timely, and valid information.

The Annual Performance Review. Really, are you willing to wait a year to get feedback from your employees? Your high performing Millennials need frequent, and sometime immediate feedback to keep developing, building their strengths, and adding value to your organization.

Twilio, the cloud communications company based in San Francisco, ditched their performance reviews to focus on more frequent communication. Here's Jeff Lawson, CEO, in an interview with The New York Times. "We don't wait until the annual performance review to give feedback. You never want to have a surprise. This is especially important with millennial workers, who really want feedback. They want to always be learning, always be growing, and they're looking for that constant feedback. It's not that they're looking for constant praise, but rather they want to keep score. They want to know how they're doing."

So, what are the things most important to Millennials? The Deloitte Millennial Survey identifies several. As much as they crave information, they want this to be provided plainly and in a straight-forward manner, especially from their bosses. They also look to these authorities to champion inclusiveness and directness.

Businesses that are involved in social issues are also high on the list, as is the appropriate implementation of automation as it relates to productivity and economic growth.

As important as these last few “positive wants” are, they are all trumped by the desire for flexible working opportunities in order to increase employee engagement. The report shows that, where implemented, flexible working arrangements are tied to improved organization performance, personal benefit and employee loyalty.

Globally, two-thirds of Millennials say their employers have adopted flexible arrangements that fall into any of these four categories:

  • Flexible time: Employees choosing when they start and finish work.
  • Flexible recruitment: Offering different types of contracts, crowd-sourcing talent, etc.
  • Flexible role: Employees choosing, within certain guidelines, what they do as part of their job.
  • Flexible location: Employees choosing to work from the office, from home, or other locations.

Compared with those in "low-flexibility" environments, the report states, "those employed where flexible working is highly embedded are twice as likely to say it has a positive impact on organizational performance and personal well-being."

In another massive study involving more than 23,000 employees in 45 countries, it was found that when employees agree their work schedule is flexible enough for them to meet family and other personal responsibilities, 79 percent report a more positive employee experience (versus 48 percent who disagree).

If you would like to discuss implementation of flexibility work opportunities in your organization, or would like to develop a strategy for attracting and keeping your future workforce, our experts at ASN would love to have this conversation with you.