When 12 Singaporeans were asked if there were enough good jobs in Singapore, a “generation split” was observed – all 4 millennials disagreed, while Generation X and the pre-independence generation held a more neutral view. Why is this so? In the research done by Dr Janil Puthucheary’s team, Ms Diana Koh commented that millennials may be “looking for more comfortable, cushy jobs”. However, there are also countless of examples showcasing the resilience that millennials possess when relentlessly working towards their goals. So what do millennials really want in their jobs and how should employers engage their younger employees to keep them?
According to Gallup’s report on “How Millennials Want to Work and Live”, 59% of millennial job seekers state that opportunity to learn and grow are very important in a job, compared to 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of baby boomers. The Deloitte Global Millenial Survey 2019 also found out that 35% of millennials leave their job as there are not enough opportunities to advance. In our increasingly competitive society, millennials are determined to prove themselves; with more opportunities to contribute, they can further develop their potential. As millennials are constantly looking for new opportunities to boost their career, staying stagnant with no prospect of development is unthinkable for them. Hence, if we wish to keep them, it is important that we recognise their desire to grow and achieve.
According to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, disparities are observed between the millennial’s expectation on employer commitment and millennial’s perception of their contribution. For instance, of the 32% of millennials also believe that businesses should improve society, only half believe that companies are doing so. Though it is natural that businesses prioritize profit, millennials are seeking for more intangible satisfaction from their jobs. How is your company making a wave in the sea of companies out there? Is your company providing a service or product that is valuable and irreplaceable? As an employer, your company’s contributions may be apparent, but it may not be so for your ambitious young employees. It is important that your employees can feel the joy whenever they solve a problem or close a deal. If they find meaning in what they are doing, then they will naturally stay!
With the emergence of gig economy, adaptable millennials have more avenues to earn a living. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019 found out that 50% of millennials will consider freelance or contract work. Besides, you have many competitors out there who would love to provide better rewards for your valuable young employees – 43% of millennials plan to leave their current organisation in the next two years as they are dissatisfied with their current pay. Similar to their desire for career growth potential in a company, millennials also wish to be proportionately rewarded and recognised for their achievements. As such, do ensure that you reward your young workers with what they deserve, be it in the form of a promotion or by entrusting them to take charge of major projects.
Apart from making contribution, millennials are also seeking for an environment where they can enjoy their work environment and make meaningful connections. As an employer, your role in shaping the culture of your team or company is most pronounced. Instead of just being a task giver, millennials hope that their bosses can be considerate and nurturing. Hence, being tactful in your use of words when giving feedback or delegating roles can be very helpful – long gone are the days where coercive measures seemingly work best! If you wish to go a step further, be sure to engage your employees personally too. They will certainly appreciate it if you checked in with them about their progress at work or even their child’s piano exam.
With the current economic slowdown caused by Covid-19, we understand that these requirements are not be easy to achieve. This is where SearchAsia comes in – if you require hiring assistance, we are more than happy to help. Do contact us if you are interested.
Illustration based on a scene in “Regardless of Class” by CNA.