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What Makes Millennials Happy at Work?

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By 2020, millennials will make up an estimated 50 percent of the workforce, according to a study by PwC. While you may have heard that Gen Y is entitled and lazy, this demographic of employees is anything but. They are incredibly entrepreneurial and tech-savvy -- and eventually will change how we work.

By 2020, millennials will make up an estimated 50 percent of the workforce, according to a study by PwC. While you may have heard that Gen Y is entitled and lazy, this demographic of employees is anything but. They are incredibly entrepreneurial and tech-savvy — and eventually will change how we work.

(Photo Credit: Nguyen Hung Vu/Flickr)

As managers of this emerging generation of workers, it’s important to keep in mind what makes them happy at work, both to recruit and retain them as employees. Millennials bring a diverse set of skills to the office, but have different needs than other demographics of employees. Here are a few things that they have demonstrated they need to succeed, both personally and professionally.

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1. Performance Rewarded With Pay

According to Mashable, namely.com, an HR and payroll platform, surveyed more than 13,000 employees from high-growth industries such as technology, ecommerce, and digital media. Most of those who responded were millennials. Their responses showed that while creating a great company culture and keeping employees intrinsically motivated is important, the paycheck had the most impact on morale. In fact, namely.com found that high performers (who made 35 percent more, on average, than low performers) were 116 percent more likely to still be employed with the company two years later.

2. Holding Only Productive Meetings

“Efficiency is the name of the game with Gen Y,” writes Ryan Healy at Brazen Careerist. “We know that a drawn out meeting really means, ‘we have no idea what we’re doing,’ and these time suckers actually halt productivity and stifle creativity, the qualities that they were supposed to encourage.”

If you’re managing millennials, be sure to hold meetings only when necessary — and keep them short and to the point. Otherwise, everyone might start wondering if anyone knows what they’re really doing there.

3. Allowing Employees to Work From Home

A recent survey from Mom Corps found that 51 percent of working adults plan to look for a new job that offers more flexibility within the next three years. Millennials are especially annoyed by managers who force them to be at their desk the entire day and all week long, especially when tasks can be accomplished elsewhere (or even at home). That said, if you do allow millennials the flexibility to work from home, be sure you have great communication tools so your team can easily keep in touch — especially if everyone ends up working remotely. 

4. Fostering Mentorship

Millennials aren’t just satisfied with a job; they want a career. One thing that satisfies them most in a job is the opportunity to be connected with those who can help foster professional and personal connections. Mashable points to a survey by Millennial Branding and American Express, which found that 53 percent of millennial workers said a mentorship relationship would help them become better and more productive team members.

Tell Us What You Think

What makes you happy at the office? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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