An increasing number of Millennials are now entering the workplace. In fact, a recent survey from Pew Research Center found that young people in the 18-34 age bracket now make up the largest percentage of the overall American workforce, overtaking Generation X. There are roughly, as of spring 2015, some 53.5 million Millennials working in the U.S. And they're bringing a wide array of new expectations with them - from flexible working hours, remote working options, longer vacation time and an enjoyable office culture.
Another particularly surprising thing that Millennials expect from their bosses, according to a new survey from Met Life, is financial guidance.
Money on the mind
The study, which surveyed millennial workers about their attitudes towards their careers and finances, revealed that a substantial majority of young professionals believe that employers have a duty of care toward the financial health of their workforce. The number of young people that believe this was found to be around 75 percent, which is higher than the overall average of 62 percent across generations.
Furthermore, study authors found that a fairly high number of Millennials - around 44 percent - expect their bosses to actually help them manage any financial problems they encounter. Other generations do not have such expectations of their employers - the survey revealed that just 20 percent of Baby Boomers expect the same.
"From our perspective, we don't see as many Millennials expecting more from their bosses as it relates to money matters – but they do have a greater expectation to truly understand how they are paid, what their benefits do for them, and are less private about how it is applied to their personal situation," says Elizabeth Pirrie, Division Director of Beacon Hill Associates in Chicago.
"As we negotiated offers in 2015 and now in 2016, we see Millennial candidates asking more benefits questions on the front end before accepting an offer, and they are more likely to approach a manager while on the job and ask, 'I could really use your advice on something…'"
"44% of Millennials expect their bosses to help them with financial problems."
Cash in on training opportunities
Despite the Millennial generation's expectations when it comes to financial care, Met Life researchers also uncovered a significant lack of awareness among younger employees about different kinds of benefits that could actually safeguard their financial health. For example, well over half - 62 percent - of young respondents stated that they didn't understand the purpose of disability insurance, while almost half said they struggled to grasp the necessity of comprehensive life insurance.
"This creates a perfect opportunity for employers to connect with employees," comments Angela DiPaul Gould, Division Director of Beacon Hill Associates in Philadelphia.
"The conversation allows managers the opportunity to support and guide Millennials at the beginning stages of their career to help establish and align personal and professional goals. Oftentimes, these two are mutually exclusive from a short-term and long-term perspective. As a Millennial, I appreciate and value the financial guidance I have received from my managers."
While some of the findings may be troubling, it is clear that millennial employees need more guidance and education about the way that certain work-related benefits can help them secure a more stable financial future. Todd Katz, the Executive Vice President of Group Voluntary and Worksite Benefits at Met Life, released a statement which elaborated on the above concerns. The statement was published by Human Resources Online.
"For employers, this is an opportunity to evolve into a more consultative role and provide meaningful education and training for employees, while also engendering loyalty," he said.
Other millennial expectations
Alongside financial guidance, young people are expecting a whole host of new things from their employers. The demands are a corollary of a shifting society and a shifting value system, with Millennials preferring collaboration among team members across all organizational levels to top-down management tactics. Below is a quick guide to some of the biggest things that Millennials now want from their employers:
With the Internet and platforms such as video conferencing and instant messaging, actually being physically present in the office is no longer a necessity in a number of professions. That's why so many Millennials are now looking for positions that grant them the flexibility to not only work from home but also make their own hours - the traditional 9 to 5 is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Inc found that a vast majority - around 95 percent - of Millennials want jobs where they can work from home when they want.
2. A good office culture
According to Forbes, young workers are looking for a sense of fulfillment from their work. While this is surely true of all generations, the source noted that Millennials are more likely to leave a position if they are unhappy with their life at work and the office culture. Indeed, Forbes cited a study that found that up to 60 percent of Millennials had left a position because they didn't regard it as a good cultural fit.
3. Independent working
In a similar vein to demanding flexible schedules, Millennials are looking for a hands-off approach to management. Inc reported that the generation, more so than others, wishes to be trusted to complete challenging tasks with minimal interference.
4. Casual dress codes
A growing number of companies are opting to replace conventional dress codes in favor of something more casual. Given that this is a relatively new approach, it is by far most popular with the millennial generation. And it is proving to be good for the bottom line. Studies have shown that workers that aren't obligated to wear business formal clothing tend to be more relaxed, and therefore more productive.
5. Opportunities to get involved
Whether it be through the company's health initiative or charity program, young workers expect management to give them opportunities to get involved outside of conventional office hours. Inc explained that Millennials are particularly enthusiastic about doing charity work and giving back to society.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.