Earning Millennials’ loyalty
Millennials seek employers with similar values; seven in 10 believe their personal values are shared by the organizations for which they work. This is the potential “silver lining” for organizations aiming to retain these young professionals.
Closing the “purpose gap” also will be critical to attracting and keeping Millennials. They want to work for organizations that focus on improving the skills, income, and ‘satisfaction levels’ of employees; create jobs; and provide goods and services that have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Millennials recognize the need for businesses to be profitable and to grow, but feel organizations are often too focused on those objectives. To Millennials, organizations with a strong sense of purpose will achieve long-term success while organizations that do not are at risk.
According to the survey, employers that provide opportunities for leadership development; connect Millennials to mentors; encourage a work/life balance; provide flexibility that allows Millennials to work where they’re most productive; give them more control over their careers; and foster cultures that encourage and reward open communications, ethical behavior, and inclusiveness, are those that will be most successful in retaining Millennial employees.
Values are traditional, less compromising
Contrary to perception, the survey found that Millennials aren’t particularly influenced by the “buzz” around particular businesses or employers. Survey respondents also indicate little desire to be famous, have a high profile on social media, or accumulate great wealth. Instead, in broad terms, Millennials’ personal goals are rather traditional. They want to own their own homes, they desire a partner for life, and they seek financial security that allows them to save enough money for a comfortable retirement. The ambition to make positive contributions to their organizations’ success and/or to the world in general also rate highly.
When asked to state the level of influence different factors have on their decision-making at work, “my personal values /morals” ranked first. Most Millennials have no problem standing their ground when asked to do something that conflicts with their personal values. This includes more-senior Millennials, whose emphasis on personal values continues into the boardroom—suggesting future leaders will base their decisions as much on personal values as on the achievement of specific organizational targets or goals.
“A generation ago, many professionals sought long-term relationships with employers, and most would never dream of saying ‘no’ to supervisors who asked them to take on projects,” said Fahoum. “But, Millennials are more independent and more likely to put their personal values ahead of organizational goals. They are re-defining professional success, they’re proactively managing their careers, and it appears that their values do not change as they progress professionally, which could have a dramatic impact on how business is done in the future.”