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What Young People Want Now From the Workplace

young employees pointing in front
istock

 If you are a young person going into the labor market, what do you want out of it? Many millenials have different thoughts on the subject. However determining what you want is dependent on how times have changed. These days what young people want from work is different from what it used to be. According to the fifth annual Millennial Impact Report, released this week by the Case Foundation in partnership with market-research, friends and purpose tops what young employees want now in the labor market. For those born after 1979, these persons want fewer boundaries and limitations in the workplace.

Here’s an overview of what young people want now in the workplace according to the Case Foundation.

#1 Purpose and Being Part of a Team

Of the more than 1,500 millennials surveyed, about 9 out of 10 said they were contributing to a company that is making a positive impact on the world. “The millennials have a work-life blend -- blending of work, blending of life-interest, blending of value, blending of passion and interest,” says Derrick Feldmann, president and lead researcher of Achieve and the Millennial Impact Project.

Millenials picked qualities such as the mission and objectives of an employer, the company’s work culture and the company’s participation in supporting certain causes. “What that means is that millennials look for meaning in the core function of what a company does, not in subsidiary charity chapters,” says Feldmann.

It seems millennials consider their time, talent and skills assets which they can give to a cause they believe in. “They are looking at these service opportunities and ways to volunteer and ways to get socially involved sort of synonymous with various personal skills and professional skills,” said Emily Yu, vice president of partnerships at the Case Foundation.

#2 What Employers should do

To attract and retain millennials, business owners should be looking for ways to give employees aged 20 to 33 opportunities to put their skills and talents towards cause work, or those projects and initiatives that help people and communities,  the findings suggests.

 For companies whose business model is directly benefitting a meaningful cause, like educating underprivileged youth, for example, then employees will feel their skills are going directly toward a meaningful cause. If, however, a company’s business model doesn’t clearly benefit a cause, then employers will impress millennials by organizing company-wide cause-work, through volunteer days or giving campaigns. If a millennial employee feels that his or her skills and talents are being fully utilized, then he or she is more likely to stay working for the same company.

“We continue to discover, over the years, that millennials view all of their assets of equal: The asset of time, the asset of skill, the asset of talent and the asset of money,” said Feldmann. Entrepreneurial business owners looking to keep young workers motivated and happy should look to give employees the opportunity to exercise and experiment with each one of those assets,” says Feldmann.

#3 Getting Involved

Young workers love to be at home with peers and people within their age group in their workplace.

 “The biggest leverage or influencer for millennials to get involved with causes was a peer, a person -- a peer, an equal -- within a small group, 4 to 6 people overall, that introduced them to or enabled them to participate in some sort of cause issue or cause organization. And what we are seeing this year, in the research, there is a correlation. And there is a peer group, and it is at work, and it is your department,” said Feldmann.

Because team dynamics are so important, the findings suggest employers should bring new potential hires to meet the department they could be working with, the survey finds. Those co-workers and friends are also guiding forces in pulling each other towards caring about causes.

As a young worker what do you want from your employer?