What Millennials Really Want at Work

What Millennial employees want isn’t that radically different from what all employees want

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As HR professionals and small business owners, are you keeping tabs on how to recruit and retain the soon-to-be largest generation of the workforce?

Millennials have a bad rap for being lazy, entitled, and wasting their money on avocado toast. The truth is, Millennials really just want to come to work each day knowing that they’re moving the company — and their careers — forward. Something that, ultimately, we all deserve to have as employees.

Despite what the media reports, Millennials don’t want a longer lunch or bean bags chair in the office. They’re looking for something deeper, right down to a company’s mission and core values that they can align with.

Once they’ve found that alignment, they are some of the hardest-working and most diligent employees that have ever existed. If you’re looking to better align your company with top-talent Millennials, it’s best to know what they really want.

Who are Your Millennial Workers?

Every generation has its own characteristic set of values. To know what those are for Millennials, it helps to know who your Millennials are.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, is defined as anyone born after the year 1980. The term “Millennials” was coined because this unique generation was the first to come of age in the new millennium — the 2000’s. During this time, the emergence of technology was so rapid-fire that this age group has always been acquainted with advanced tech.

Pew Research notes a few things about Millennials that speak greatly to their generation, including the fact that they’re better educated. Around  39% of those ages 25 to 37 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. They’ve also been accredited with having brought more racial and ethnic diversity to American society. Plus, they’ve shifted the gender paradigm, as Millennial women, like Generation X women, are more likely to participate in the nation’s workforce than prior generations.

What Millennials Really Want

A Liveable Wage

The middle class isn’t the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago. Traditional milestones such as buying a house or paying for a wedding was much more affordable. In fact, everything was more affordable. The value of a dollar earned was much higher. In order for Millennials to live a life free from financial struggle, they’ll gravitate toward jobs with a liveable wage, which isn’t that outlandish.

A Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment

Inclusion and diversity is still an issue in 2019, one that deters top Millennial talent.

Millennials, having paved the way for an equal and socially just society will have little to no tolerance for non-inclusive nuances.


Millennials are motivated by flexible work atmospheres, which may include working remotely, flexible work hours, and unlimited PTO among others. It’s important to adopt these for flexible options because Millennials are fine ditching jobs that offer no fulfillment if it means they can maintain a work-life balance and have a sense of purpose.

A Sense of Purpose

Because the workforce is richer than ever with opportunity, finding a role that makes Millennials feel fulfilled is a top priority. Stability and inconsistency aren’t that scary if it means they can wake up feeling like they’re where they should be. This is where having mission statements and company values (and actually upholding them) will be key.

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