4 Millennial Attitudes Toward Work That Might Surprise You

Date: June 08, 2016

A new survey contradicts much of the narrative that surrounds the country’s largest labor force.

Millennials have taken over. Not in any apocalyptic sense—at least not yet—but the generation does make up the largest share of workers in the country. 

This much-discussed generation—encompassing workers in their late teens to mid-30s—will make up over one-third of the labor force by 2020, according to a new report from ManpowerGroup. As working demographics change, small business owners need to adapt to the evolving pool of job candidates and employees.


Below are some of the most surprising insights into how millennials view employment, job security, and what they value in the workplace. 

1. Contrary to popular belief, young workers don’t like job-hopping. 

Although Gallup published a poll in May calling millennials “the least engaged generation in the workplace,” ManpowerGroup’s findings tell a different story. Sixty-five percent of millennials intend to stay with their current company for at least a few years, and 39 percent of millennials define job security as “a secure job for the long-term,” according to the report. The most important factors that contribute to where they work are money, security, and benefits, according to the report.

2. Their entrepreneurial spirit is strong.

Many millennials entered the job market during a brutal recession, so it would make sense that they crave job security. But nearly one-third of survey respondents said they would consider working on a freelance or contract basis. The entrepreneurial spirit is also strong with this group, as 41 percent said they would consider self-employment as a future career path.

3. Millennials like feeling appreciated. 

Don’t forget your thank-yous: Nearly half of millennials would consider leaving a job if they felt underappreciated. Authors of the report suggest that managers should incorporate more positive, face-to-face feedback to combat any perceived lack of gratitude.

4. Young employees are hungry for advancement.

Individuals just beginning their careers are hungry for opportunity, and millennials are more willing than previous generations to take initiative to learn new skills if it means advancing in their company, the report found. Forty-five percent of millennials believe that improving their skills and qualifications is necessary to get promoted.

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