What Millennials Want – Part 1: Purpose

Throwing WordsEngagementWhat Millennials Want – Part 1: Purpose
November 1 , 2016 / Posted by Carole Johnson / Engagement / No Comments

What Millennials Want – Part 1: Purpose

Harnessing the power of the millennial mindset to improve workplace productivity.

A Gallup report titled, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” says that 55% of millennials are not engaged at work, meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally disconnected from their job and company. Studies have shown that when employees are not engaged, they are far less productive and experience more turnover than businesses with engaged employees.

When we consider that in the next 4 years, millennials will compose 50% of the workforce, engaging and adapting to the ways of this very important generation becomes crucial to the future success of companies worldwide.

What do millennials want out of work and life?

Answering this question is the first step in truly understanding the millennial mindset and harnessing that knowledge to drive growth. Gallup recommends that companies change their organizational cultures this year from old will to new will. There are six fundamental changes that leaders should make in order to accommodate this shift and engage millennials, which Gallup is calling the “Big Six”:

Past                                  Future

1.     My Paycheck                My Purpose

2.     My Satisfaction            My Development

3.     My Boss                        My Coach

4.     My Annual Review        My Ongoing Conversations

5.     My Weaknesses            My Strengths

6.     My Job                           My Life

Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive deeper into each of these components of the millennial mindset, and provide some action steps that leaders can leverage to unlock the full potential of this powerful generation of workers.

#1: “I don’t want a paycheck; I want a purpose.”

Millennials won’t simply work for a paycheck. They want to find purpose and meaning in their jobs, and if they don’t, they won’t hesitate to move on to new opportunities. Millennials want to work for organizations with a clear mission and purpose and need to understand how their strengths and skills fit in when it comes to fulfilling those things.

Among the top 5 things millennials look for when applying for jobs are “opportunities to learn and grow” (59%) as well as “a genuine interest in the type of work they’re doing” (58%). Moreover, 25% of millennials are looking for jobs within organizations that encourage creativity. All of these factors contribute to a deeper sense of purpose.

This is very different from the baby boomer generation whose mission and purpose were to provide for their families and communities through a job that simply offered a steady paycheck, but that didn’t necessarily provide meaning outside of that. For millennials, compensation is important and must be fair, but it’s no longer the driving force behind what they do. The emphasis for this generation has moved from paycheck to purpose, and so must your culture.

Action Steps:

Leaders can leverage this knowledge to the benefit of their organization by providing a clearly defined set of expectations and goals within a framework of the organization’s overall mission and giving millennial workers a clear path to success. Fifty percent of millennials rate “opportunities for advancement” as important when applying to jobs, so having a clear goal to advance toward is a must for this generation.

Throwing Words has cracked the code on Millennial engagement in the workplace.  To learn more about Throwing Words or to schedule a consultation, please visit throwingwords.com or call 704-942-8007.

Up Next: What Millennials Want – Part 2: Development


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