Talent Management

Millennials on the Job: All They Really Want Is a Little Appreciation

The recession has changed the attitude of many members of the Millennial generation when it comes to work.

Do Millennials care about “length of service” recognition?

I can hear you saying no. But you’re wrong.

A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego  found Millennial employees have about the same level of organizational commitment as other generations.

And there’s even better news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent study found employees are staying longer with their current employer than they have in nearly 15 years. In 1998, employees stayed 3.6 years with a company before moving on. Now, they’re staying 4.6 years.

Millennials want engaging, meaningful work

Add an effective career achievement program, where employees are rewarded for their years of service, and that number jumps to 6.7 years. Pretty impressive.

But being pegged as a job-hopping generation isn’t the only myth surrounding Millennials. They get a bad rap around the office as the spoiled, bratty generation who wants the yacht and the corner office without having to work hard for it.

But what they really want is engaging, meaningful work that doesn’t take over their lives. And don’t we all secretly want that?

Sure Millennials expect to be listened to when they have an idea even if they are the youngest person in the room, but why shouldn’t they be? A good idea is a good idea, even if comes from someone who hasn’t “earned their stripes.”

“They want to know their work matters”

And yes, Millennials need frequent feedback and they thrive off recognition but we all do, they’re just willing to ask for it. And shouldn’t we thank them for that? Show me a Baby Boomer (or anyone else) who doesn’t appreciate recognition for a job well done.

Like it or not, Millennials are flooding the workplace and by 2025 they’ll make up 75 percent of the workforce. So you can choose to view them as demanding, in-your-face radicals, or someone who’s advancing the workforce to create an environment we’d all be happy with.

Simply put: Millennials are people first. They want to be appreciated just like everyone else. They want to know their work matters.

They’re not bratty children who don’t want to work hard. They just want to know their hard work is appreciated .

Trust me on that; I’m one of them.

This was originally published on the OC Tanner blog.

Christina Pope is a former journalist-turned-marketer who now works as a a Digital Communication Analyst and writer at Salt Lake City-based OC Tanner, the global leader of the employee recognition industry that it helped create. Contact her at info@octanner.com
  • Teresa Kiyawasew

    In reading the first couple of paragraphs, I figured that this article (created in defence of our upcoming future leaders), was written by a millennial.

  • http://twitter.com/orgchanger Stephan Klaschka

    How about digging a bit deeper? Try this: “Generation Y for managers – better than their reputation?”
    http://orgchanger.com/2010/08/31/generation-y-for-managers-–-better-than-their-reputation/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000012430512 Rob Edmondson

    Funny… Substitute “Gen X’ers” for “Milennials” and I’ve read this same article 10 years back

  • Jack Eisenstein

    I must be out of touch, but I never met a millenial I didn’t like. I’ve learned much from the new kids on the block, like working hard to maintain a warm work-life balance. I joined the full time work force in 1974, and I wanted everything now. I remember my father laughing at me.
    I hope the new kids do a better job at managing this world than I did.

  • Iggy

    I am a boomer, and I am not a bratty child who won’t work hard. I just want to know myhard work is appreciated .