There are many stereotypes and articles published about the work style and ethic of millennial employees, many of which discuss negative attributes such as laziness or tendencies to job hop. While it’s important to understand the different perspective and approach younger generations have to working it’s also important to not underestimate these employees. They bring a range of skills to the workforce and are actually a very driven and values based cohort, who, when receiving the right support can be extremely valuable members of your team.

To address the stereotype that Gen Y staff jump from job to job or that they are ‘continuous candidates’, research has found that gen y workers are instead ambitious and in search of new experiences and professional development.

A survey by Deloitte Australia found that the ability to progress and take on a leadership role was a key consideration of the millennial job seeker. Furthermore the process of encouraging and developing younger staff into leaders results in greater loyalty and commitment to work. The report noted that a company’s values and culture were also factors of higher importance to millennial job seekers – where an alignment of values was key, along with company social responsibility.

By supporting and adapting to the younger workforce, businesses can benefit from highly autonomous, problem solving and creative teams who think outside of the box.

Some key points for engaging with and supporting millennial employees:

  • Teach and encourage collaboration skills
  • Provide mentorship
  • Consider your company’s purpose beyond profit and engage your team in this
  • Provide developmental opportunities
  • Trust your team to work independently and encourage smart decision making
  • Assist in setting long and short term goals
  • Embrace personal ambition

The bottom line is to recognise what motivates your employees, no matter their age and support their development. Deloitte Australia’s report found millennial workers value an inclusive, meaningful work culture over anything else. To encourage a collaborative, productive and positive work environment with a loyal team it is important to get to know who you’re working with and what drives them!