What Millennials Want From Employers

It’s estimated that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be classified as millennial. A lot has been said about the millennial generation and it has not always been complimentary. Here are some insights on what they really want from their work.

Purposeful, Meaningful Work

Millennials tend to be more motivated by purpose and value than by a paycheck. They want to feel good about their work and know they are making an impact on society. Highlighting how companies give back over merely making a profit can be impressionable. Fair compensation is important, but they want to know their work has meaning, purpose and that the organization’s values fit with their personal viewpoints. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Surveys have reported that the majority of millennials are looking for employers whose Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) values match their own and would consider leaving if those employers no longer met their expectations. Some companies offer formal volunteering programs and others let employees follow their own passions. It is an opportunity for colleagues to work together to accomplish a shared goal adding to the organization’s overall culture. Additionally, it has been shown that consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.

Work-Life Balance / Flexibility

It has been reported that as many as 95% of Millennials note work-life balance as a top priority when searching for a new job. Cash bonuses came in 3rd of importance (2019 study conducted by PWC).The option for flexible working hours and to work remotely, either fully or some of the time, is a major reason why this generation considers moving jobs. While this may be perceived as “lazy” or “unambitious” by other generations, that is not the case. Cutting out commute time provides the opportunity for more family time and many feel more productive in a work from home setting.


If you’ve interviewed or hired a millennial, they have likely asked about career advancement. Millennials are driven by development and expect opportunities to learn and grow. A study from Gallup confirmed that 87% of millennials note professional growth and development opportunities were among their top priorities. This is often misconstrued as “entitlement” when in fact, it is “empowerment” and a burning desire to expand their knowledge and skills.

Regular Recognition

This generation is most likely to find new employment if they feel their efforts are underappreciated. Annual or bi-annual reviews are too infrequent. Ongoing feedback essential, not incidents from the past.  Recognition can greatly contribute towards engagement and Gallup data reports that just 19% of millennials strongly agree they receive routine feedback at work. Integrating recognition as part of workplace culture can speak volumes about an organization’s level of transparency and trust.  

Millennials are the first “digitally native” generation to enter the workplace. Growing up in a time of rapid change has given them a set of expectations and priorities that vastly contrast generations prior. They are a talented and dynamic generation where the best are hard to find and even more difficult to retain.