Millennials are predicted to make up the largest percentage of the global workforce by 2025. Figures estimate in Australia, they will comprise almost 75% of the local workforce. With this in mind, understanding the needs and wants of millennials – as well as their successors, Gen Z – will be pivotal to strategic talent acquisition and employee retention.

Although millennial workers today may express some concerns about future job security, they are nonetheless proving themselves to be hardworking, ambitious, and committed to making a positive impact on their workplaces and broader society.

Here are the most important factors millennials consider when seeking out employment opportunities – and crucial considerations for any organisation’s employee value proposition going forward.

A healthy work-life balance

According to the Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey, a healthy work-life balance is the top non-financial business priority for millennial business leaders. Likewise, a survey by pwc found that 95% of millennial workers consider a good work-life balance to be important. In fact, for younger workers, success and satisfaction are based on being trusted to work when and how they like and having the opportunity to seek out new life experiences – both of which require a balance between work life and personal life.

Despite this, more than a quarter of survey respondents said their expectations for a healthy work-life balance had not been met with a new employer. These results suggest employers need to be sure they’re creating a realistic picture of their business during the recruitment process to avoid being faced with disengaged employees and high turnover.

Learning and development opportunities

Having access to learning and development is the top priority for millennials in the workplace. In the same pwc survey, 52% of respondents said career progression was the most important consideration when looking for a job, ahead of a competitive salary (44%).

However, millennials don’t just want to “climb the ladder”. Rather, they want to progress to a point where they feel that the work they do is important. With this in mind, businesses and employees should communicate and discuss the company’s values during the recruitment process.

Workplace flexibility

Flexibility at work is imperative for millennials and Gen Zs. They consider it to be the most critical employee characteristic for successful businesses. A majority of respondents in the Deloitte report selected flexibility/adaptability as one of the three most critical workforce traits – significantly more than those who identified “expertise and proficiency in the roles for which employees were hired” or having “values that align with our organisation.”

Especially considering the shift to remote work driven by the pandemic, employers looking to recruit and retain millennial talent will find that having flexible working options gives them a competitive edge.

Social responsibility and accountability

According to the same report by Deloitte, millennials and Gen Zs are actively seeking to influence policy and business actions on matters that are important to them, including environmental issues, inequality and discrimination. They are eager to provide the necessary push to hold organisations accountable, in order to bring about positive change on a broader societal level.

To that end, businesses with clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) frameworks will likely be best placed to attract and retain top millennial and Gen Z employees over the coming years.

The Rising Influence of Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace

As we navigate through the 21st century, the workplace has seen a significant shift. It's become a melting pot of generations, especially with the influx of millennials and Gen Z in the workplace. As these two generations begin to dominate the workforce, it's crucial to understand their unique characteristics, how to work effectively with them, and manage these millennial workers for a harmonious and productive work environment.

Millennials in the Workforce: Shaping the Modern Workplace

Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials have reshaped traditional work norms. Working with millennials reveals their preference for flexibility, digital connectivity, continuous learning, and a strong emphasis on work-life balance. As they become the dominant generational group, understanding and managing millennials in the workplace is key to business success.

The Emergence of Gen Z in the Workplace

Born from 1997 onwards, Generation Z is the newest entrant into the workforce. Characterised by their tech-savviness, entrepreneurial spirit, diversity, and global awareness, Gen Z in the workplace promises to bring a fresh perspective and innovative solutions.

Millennial and Gen Z Convergence: A New Workforce Landscape

The intersection of millennials and Gen Z in the workplace creates a dynamic environment rich in digital fluency, innovation, and social consciousness. Companies that leverage these strengths while addressing their unique needs can drive increased productivity and engagement.

Managing Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace

Managing millennials in the workplace and their younger counterparts requires a different approach:

  • Foster a Collaborative Environment: Both millennials and Gen Z value teamwork and collaboration. Encourage an open, inclusive workplace culture where every voice is heard and respected.
  • Leverage Technology: As digital natives, millennials and Gen Z are comfortable with technology. Incorporate the latest tools and platforms to enhance communication, collaboration, and productivity.
  • Offer Continuous Learning Opportunities: These generations are driven by growth and development. Ensure you provide opportunities for continuous learning and career progression.
  • Emphasise Work-Life Balance: Millennials in the workforce have championed the importance of work-life balance, a sentiment echoed by Gen Z. Adopt flexible work policies to meet these needs.

The shift to a workplace populated by millennials and Gen Z represents a significant transformation in the workforce landscape. By understanding their unique characteristics and adjusting management strategies, businesses can create an environment that leverages their strengths and fosters productivity and growth.

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