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Flex work is a hot topic. After years of growth, flex workers now form 30% of the Dutch workforce. This makes sense when you consider that the emerging economy is driven by millennials: a generation that considers flexibility an important factor in thier job search. But is flexibility the only factor millennials pay attention to? According to Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey, Millennials and Gen Z pay attention to a number of factors when choosing where to work. Let’s see which they are.

5 factors millennials look for

Working with younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, is about more than simply adapting your organization to their need for flexibility. We would like to give you a better idea of ​​the factors that influence this generation of workers in their job search. Remember these factors carefully, as they will increase the loyalty of millennial employees.

1.Benefits and Rewards

This is one of the aspects that the younger generation of workers find very important. Many organizations will be convinced that higher salaries, in particular, are positively linked to employee happiness, but the reality is more complicated.

Companies are increasingly developing strong organizational cultures to attract new talent and motivate employees. One of the ways to create a strong organizational culture is to offer employees “benefits”, and not just in the form of a higher salary. Millennials and Gen Z are looking for workplaces that not only pay well and fairly but also offer other extras, from fully equipped kitchens to so-called ‘nap pods’ for the daily power nap.  These generations don’t want to feel like they are at work in the office.

We recommend every company to think carefully about this simple question: What do I offer my employees, other than a salary?

2. Flexibility

As we said before, flexibility has become a critical factor in the professional world and many companies are starting to adapt to this. Flexible working hours are no longer an exception. Younger generations don’t want their lives to be about work. They want a good balance between private and work. In fact, Millennials and Gen Z are more loyal to organizations that offer flexible working hours and workplaces.

3. Opportunities to grow

One of the characteristics of younger generations is the urge to learn and grow. Millennials and Gen Z think it is important to be challenged and to grow on a personal and professional level. Situations that help them learn through trial and error are an important motivating factor. Companies that think “I will offer them a higher salary in a few years” do not understand what it means to offer “opportunities for growth”.

The younger generations want to work for an organization that invests in them and entrusts them with responsibilities. According to millennials, these are a number of “opportunities for growth”:

  • Working toward a goal: This challenges them to achieve a goal in the most efficient way. Whether it’s serving 20 cocktails or selling 20 bikes: When you set goals, you encourage employees to develop their own approach.
  • Constant feedback: Your opinion counts. Millennials and Gen Z want to know what you think of their work. Feedback is their way of learning. They want to know what to improve in order to achieve a better result.
  • On-the-job training: This is a good opportunity for employees to learn something new (which will benefit their productivity and knowledge, and thus the organization!). For this reason, organizations should make training and courses easily accessible.
  • Investing in the development of soft skills: Millennials choose companies where they feel accepted and comfortable. The development of employees’ soft skills is therefore very important.
  • Coaching Instead of Playing Boss: Millennials need someone to guide them in their careers. Someone who is always there to give advice. “Opportunities to grow” is an interesting topic that we will explore in more depth in future articles. Companies should ask themselves: To what extent do we help employees to grow on a personal and professional level?

4. Diversity and Inclusivity 

It should come as no surprise that younger generations want to work in inclusive organizations. It shouldn’t matter how old you are, where you come from, or what gender you identify with. It’s all about the feeling of belonging and meaning. Fortunately, organizations are increasingly concerned with cultural diversity.

Diversity and inclusivity are factors influencing millennials and Gen Z in their job search. They prefer to work for a company whose employees come from all over the world so that they can learn from and about different cultures. The question here is: To what extent does our company promote diversity and inclusivity?

5. Ethical behavior

Millennials and Gen Z feel the need to help others, for example in the form of volunteering. They want to “make the world a better place” and embrace organizations that display ethical behavior. They choose organizations that try to do something good, and / or that offer them the opportunity to support a good cause in a certain way. Ethical behavior is a complicated subject.

It is sometimes impossible to predict the consequences of behavior – be it individual behavior or the behavior of an organization. However, any attempt to do good is a step in the right direction, and it is beneficial for your ethical footprint and for attracting and retaining millennial talent.

Anna van Buuren