Society is changing and the expectations of younger generations are changing with it. Millennials aren’t as willing to accept the status quo, especially when it comes to their office. Since the generation will make up the majority of the workforce in the near future, it is imperative that organizations know what millennials look for in a workplace and what they avoid. Here are six things that millennials hate about office culture.
- Top-down decision making
While some generations have accepted top-down decision making as intrinsic to business and office culture, millennials are breaking the mold by seeking flatter office structures.
Millennials want to feel like they are making valued contributions to their organization. As a result, most seek collaborative workplaces and avoid offices that place too much value on seniority when making decisions. When the wants of higher-ups and senior employees are prioritized over all, it diminishes the opportunity for younger employees to introduce new ideas and participate in the growth of the organization. Additionally, any lack of transparency from leadership can lead to distrust for millennials. Team meetings and events can break down silos between senior and newer employees and allow millennials to have their voices heard.
- No learning opportunities
A Gallup report showed that millennials value learning opportunities in the workplace more than any other working generation. The same report, however, showed that only 39 percent of millennials feel that they are learning at work.
Fortunately, this one could be an easy fix. For millennials, something as simple as receiving feedback on a project can serve as a learning opportunity and increase engagement. Training and development programs are also popular with the generation because it proves that their employers prioritize learning and growth.
- Outdated technology
People born in the 80s and 90s grew up in an era of rapid technological advancement, so it’s no wonder that the tech industry is booming with millennials. Old technology can lead to less than favorable operations for any organization. It is slow moving and often has limited capabilities and poor security.
Fo that are technologically savvy, there’s nothing more frustrating and restricting than working in an office with dated equipment. Sixty-six percent of millennials agree that their familiarity with technology allows them to provide innovative, tech-based solutions that are not always possible with dated tech.
- Long or strict work hours
Work-life balance can be tricky. And with email and instant messaging, people can be expected to work anytime and anywhere. But, a lot of millennials aren’t interested in working excruciatingly long hours to get to the top. They’d much rather leave the office with the confidence that their work is done for the day so they can dedicate time to their other interests.
Obviously, some jobs require longer work days. In this case, flexibility is key. Providing flexible hours allows millennials to create a custom balance of work and play. It is also proven to increase their productivity and engagement.
- Lack of responsibility
Instead of job security and a comfortable income, millennials seek positions where they are given a decent amount of responsibility day-to-day. In fact, 89 percent of millennials want to take the reins on most of their projects. While more menial tasks like filing, responding to emails and basic data input may be part of most job descriptions, that can’t be all there is.
After leaving undergraduate and graduate school, millennials want an opportunity to flex their skills and show off everything they learned. Give your younger employees more long-term projects and cut back on the printing jobs.
- Helicopter management
The millennial generation doesn’t fare well with micromanagement. When millennials are finally given more responsibility, they want their supervisors to assume that they are competent and efficient enough to complete the tasks they are given. Why are autonomy and trust so important to millennials? It may have something to do with the value they place on professional development.
Millennials want their supervisors to be their mentors, not disciplinarians. Instead of badgering them about deadlines, supervisors should provide millennial employees with opportunities for growth and development.
The big takeaway is that millennials are confident in their abilities but simultaneously aware that they have a lot to learn. If organizations keep these attributes in mind, they can create engaging and healthy work environments for the workforce of the future.
This post is part of GovLoop’s millennial blog series, First 5
Great piece, Danielle! Such a thoughtful list, a few of which I hadn’t even considered before. I love this blog series.
Many older workers want these same things. They are characteristics of a good working environment.