Millennials, on more than one occasion, have been called the “me, me, me” generation. So when you’re part of that generation, and you read a title like the one for this article, it may be tempting to think, “Here we go again: another post telling me how much I want a bean bag chair in my office.” But the fact of the matter is that last year, millennials replaced Gen X as the largest share of the U.S. workforce. As a part of that emerging majority, you’re entitled to seek out the kind of employer that’s best for you. As a matter of clarity, here are some signs that your current or potential employer has the pulse of millennials, and where there may be a red flag.
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Employers are trying all sorts of tricks to cater to Gen Y, and there may be some merit to pushing back against some of those things, like the open-plan office — but that’s not the point. The point is that there are changing dynamics in the workplace, and tangible qualities that your current or future employer can offer to ensure you’re getting the most out of your work environment.
Good Online Visibility
If you’re a millennial job candidate, you’re more than twice as likely to have looked up your future employer than a job candidate from another generation. With the amount of information out there, you can probably see pictures of the office, look up salary information, and even read reviews from past employees. It’s plausible that before you say a word in your interview, you understand what the job entails, how much your competition pays for the same position, and what the most disgruntled employees have said about life in your office.
If a company isn’t aware of this, it’ll reflect in how well they tend to their online presence. That probably represents a number of things, including a lack of engagement with their current employees and a lack of investment in online development.
Clear Channels of Communication
This infographic from 15Five says it all: we crave communication. So much so, in fact, that 84 percent of us millennial workers would choose a job because of its open communication policy versus its perks package.
Surveying more than 1,000 employees across the country, 15Five found that open communication was crucial for millennials’ productivity and overall happiness in the workplace. It’s more than just weekly check-ins: it’s about creating an open an honest environment where workers can receive constant feedback. Right now, according to that same survey, only 15 percent of companies are doing that well. So the door is wide open for you to get ahead of the competition.
If the email you got from work last night a midnight didn’t already confirm it: the 9-to-5 is dying. A recent survey from Ernst & Young reported by the L.A. Times revealed that most of us millennials would turn down a promotion or leave our job for a company that provided more flexibility and work-life balance. That may mean working strange hours, taking extended working vacations, or simply changing the days of week that you come to the office.
If your company isn’t already offering those kinds of schedule options for you already, it’s a sign that they don’t understand — or more than likely simply haven’t reached out to — their millennial working population.
In 2013, one survey found that it costs $15,000-$25,000 to replace a millennial employee. Your employer should be willing to provide cost-free options like flexible schedules, in order to keep you engaged and happy at work.
Tell Us What You Think
Is this just a bunch of entitled, generational bologna, or is there merit to millennials standing up for what they deserve in the workplace? What’s something that you value most in an office environment? We want to hear from you, so please share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!