What drives millennials in the workplace?

What millennials want most out of their careers is a sense of purpose and meaning. This is important for hiring managers to remember when working with young recruits.

PixelsAway | Bigstock.com
PixelsAway | Bigstock.com

What millennials want most out of their careers is a sense of purpose and meaning. This is important for hiring managers to remember when working with young recruits.

Older generations may see millennials, born roughly between 1981 and 1996, as impatient, indolent, inattentive and entitled, said DeShawn Blanding, himself a millennial.  Blanding offered insights related to the matter while speaking at USPOULTRY’s Feed Mill Management Seminar in March 2019, but those viewpoints remain pertinent today.

Blanding, who according to his LinkedIn profile is a legislative assistant for the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, delivered his remarks while still a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. 

Blanding, at the time, said if other generations can identify what drives millennials, recruits and hiring managers can have a great working relationship.

Three things that drive millennials, according to Blanding, are a catalytic culture, consistent growth and contained freedom.

Catalytic culture

Millennials crave diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They focus on respect for identity; unique experiences; and ideas, opinions and thoughts, while non-millennials focus on representation, religion and demographics and equality. According to a poll, millennials report higher levels of engagement, involvement and authenticity when operating in an inclusive culture.

Millennials want to make an impact; they believe they can make a difference in the world through volunteerism, service and community.

Consistent growth

In a study cited by Blanding, 68 percent of recent college graduates said good opportunities for growth and development were among their top professional priorities.

Millennials are always looking for ways to learn and to grow professionally and personally.

Contained freedom

Blanding said millennials seek freedom to be fluid within a structure, meaning they want flexibility, autonomy and work-life integration. This includes the ability to have creative autonomy and free expression.

“The benefits and perks that employees truly care about are those that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life,” Blanding said.

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