Leaders are increasingly focusing on the millennial generation. Gallup, research-based, performance-management consultancy, recently completed a study of how this generation’s attitudes and preferences are reshaping workplaces, communities and markets.
In the new report, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” Gallup researchers found that these Gen Xers want to be engaged with their jobs, but often feel they’re not. They seek to balance careers with a purposeful life, and expect their jobs to provide financial stability with plenty of time and money for discretionary spending – but aren’t willing to follow orders unquestioningly to achieve that.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials frequently struggle to find good jobs that engage them. Millennials “have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment in the U.S. and only 29 percent of employed millennials are engaged at work,” researchers noted.
Employers should recognize that while millennials are a diverse group, they have common characteristics that shape what kind of employees they’re likely to be.
More so than their parents and older siblings, millennials lack attachments. They may not feel close ties to their jobs, despite employers’ best efforts. Only about 29 percent of Millennials in the work force are engaged in their jobs, the research found.
This generation is even more hesitant to embrace brands, and as consumers they are also best described as disengaged. They also are less interested in setting down roots in communities or identifying with specific institutions. At the same time, they are highly connected with the world around them through digital communications. According to Gallup, 91 percent of Millennials own smart phones, and 71 percent say the Internet is their main source for news and information.
Gallups’s research shows millennials:
1) Reject tradition and precedent as justification for worksite processes;
2) “Want to be free of performance management standards,” and expect employers to adapt accordingly;
3) Expect managers “to care about them as an employee and as a person.”
4) “Believe life and work should be worthwhile and have meaning.” Nearly nine out of 10 prioritize career growth opportunities and professional development.
5) Expect to understand how they fit in with their jobs, teams and companies. “They look for work that fuels their sense of purpose and makes them feel important,” Gallup noted.
Gallup’s research suggests that millennials view certain institutions differently than their predecessors do, and those views have shaped their decisions to engage — or not to engage — with those institutions. And the work-site is one of those institutions.