What millennials want from employers

If you hear “the struggle is real,” as you walk through your office, it’s likely you’re overhearing a millennial.

The millennial generation, my generation, has changed the game. And, with millennials rapidly climbing the organizational ranks, it’s imperative that employers know how to retain these employees. So, what are millennials looking for?

Benefits

  • Paid time off: Millennials value time away from the office and often work harder when we receive personal time. It’s important that companies recognize this and provide packages that allow for sufficient paid time off — and the time to take it, as well.
  • Health and wellness: We are passionate about our health. We’ve grown up in a culture that emphasizes exercise, good eating habits, and healthy lifestyles. We want to work for a company that cares about our wellness. Providing a concrete health insurance package is a must, and it should be affordable. Subsidized gym memberships, on-site workout areas, and walking trails are a big plus.
  • Retirement plans: Even though we aren’t close to retirement, millennials know the value of starting a retirement fund early and getting the most out of a company match.

Support for a positive quality of life 

  • Flexibility: Millennials value flexible hours and remote options. We want to work for an employer who trusts us to do the job whether we’re in a cubicle or not. Companies where employees can work remotely tend to be more attractive than those that don’t.
  • Continuing education and career development: Millennials are eager to learn and want to develop professionally. Classes and conferences that offer opportunities to develop new skills are attractive to us. 
  • Community engagement opportunities: We are a civic-minded generation. Most of us have a desire to give back to our community, and that could tilt the scale when choosing an employer. Companies should consider allocating some paid time off for their employees to give back.

A workforce that reflects the generation

  • Respect and transparency: Even if millennials are at the bottom of the organizational totem pole, we crave respect. We want to be included in big picture conversations to feel understood and informed. Millennials become frustrated when wages are tied to age or previous salaries as opposed to the value we add to the company. This could explain why we get a bad rap for job-hopping. When companies recognize millennials’ contributions, we’re more likely to stay.
  • Diversity: We see value in the opinions and ideas of people who are different from us. We want our work environment to reflect diversity in age, gender, race, and perspectives. From entry level to the executive suite, millennials want to see that our employer values unique points of view.

Molly O’Malley is a recruiter with Adams Keegan.

This article originally appeared in Memphis Business Journal