Millennials get a bum rap, in my opinion. It’s easy to laugh at the caricatures of avocado toast-eating complainers. But that’s not the millennials I know in the workplace. Their generation’s demands to change the way we work have impacted me in a positive way. I think the changes they advocate for are good for all workers, and I support their ideas at Brigade.
Without change, they won’t stay
A Gallop survey showed that millennials are a driving force behind workplace change. They’re waiting for their employers to catch up with them, not the other way around. If they can’t find what they feel will keep them happy and productive in a particular workplace, they don’t stay. It’s not uncommon to see a millennial resume filled with two-year stints at various companies.
What they want from the workplace is what many of us desire
First and foremost, they want purpose. “Most millennials approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations,” according to the survey. They want their work to have meaning and purpose, to leverage their talents and strengths, to help them learn and develop, and to fit their life.
Additional expectations include:
- Perks related to the quality of life: It’s a stereotype to assume they want “fun” benefits like ping pong tables. They place the highest value on health insurance, paid vacation, and retirement plans.
- Stability: When they do change jobs, more than half of employees rate greater stability and job security as “very important” in their new role.
- Frequent feedback: Those old-school performance reviews, which feel one-sided, cookie-cutter, and infrequent, are out. They seek ongoing feedback, clear goals, and collaborative goal setting.
- Flexibility: Flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in their decision to take or leave a job.
Our team culture aligns with their expectations
When I created my business, I wanted to create a place where an employee would want to work forever. I believe I’ve done that. We have a high level of employee engagement. We have core values that we live by and our team rallies around. The result? Our culture is so freaking amazing.
We work very hard every day and the stressors are there. But I know that we also love hanging out with each other. We have team-building exercises every month and annual retreats. We need to have our time out together so that when we’re back in the office environment, we have that bond. That way, when difficult or challenging things happen, we’re a much more cohesive team and have a very nimble way of working together.
I think it’s fair to say, clients feel it when they come on board. It’s contagious. New clients will tell me, “Why are you so happy?” And I say, “Why would we not be happy?”
Except for myself and one other team member, Brigade is made up of millennials. Given what this generation values in the company they work for, I take it as a high compliment.