What does the Millennial Workforce Want?


Over the course of the last decade, and particularly in the last three to four years, we have seen a significant shift in the way we work and more importantly expectations around how employees see their careers developing. The “Millennial Workplace” is a far cry from the traditional 9-5 role of before, and more and more, our clients are adapting to this new reality in an effort to attract and retain the best staff.


Over the course of the last year, we have observed with some curiosity how these trends are developing, and we feel that it is useful to share this information as we move further into 2020 in an ever-changing workplace environment!



While this may seem obvious, it is often deemed the single most important trait that can often be overlooked. At an early stage of a career, a business with a purpose or a relatable and clear mission statement can become a more attractive employment proposition than a business that is simply offering “a job”. Millennial workforce view employers as a source of powerful and positive social, environmental and societal change. Having a clear message and delivery around purpose can help to attract the next generation of talent.

Company Culture

While this phrase may be considered a newer ‘buzzword’, company culture has been increasing in importance for a long time. We see this being translated in the workplace as less formal, more personal relationships with their employers, and an expectation that employees opinions and ideas will matter. Millennial workers value purpose-driven jobs where they can see their ideas valued and acted upon. Defining and advertising your company culture clearly can be a major pull factor in attracting the best young talent.


Commitment to growth opportunities

The Millennial workforce care more about opportunities for continued professional and educational development offered by a company. This is both related to the desire for a ‘purpose’ but also serves as a means for employers to actively demonstrate their value of and investment in an employee. In addition, workers no longer see themselves staying with one employer for 30 years or more so continuous development & up to date training is essential.


Flexible working solutions

Advancements in technology mean that jobs that once had to be done from an office, can now be done remotely. Innovative companies have responded to this by offering flexible work hours to their employees. We also see businesses offering more remote roles, work from home roles and roles that allow for travel. For the right employees this can increase productivity, job satisfaction and efficiency – it is more and more evident that happy workers are productive workers.


Healthy work life integration

Businesses have been aware for quite some time that a healthy work-life balance is important to the younger generation. Millennials are aware employers will look for a willingness to go the extra mile, but they hold an expectation that employers will also go the extra mile and offer supports, outside of salary/monetary benefits. Benefits such as extended annual leave, subsidized/ free food or gym memberships are valued. In addition, seeing that management understand and support your responsibilities outside of work, such as family commitments can position an employer well in the battle for top talent.


Cognitive Diversity

Diversity & inclusion has been a much talked about topic in recent years. Prior generations saw diversity at work in more basic terms – the focus was mainly on balancing the race & gender ratios and inclusion of individuals of all abilities. For Millennials, their understanding of diversity is more nuanced (sometimes called Cognitive Diversity) – they want to see a mix of experiences, identities, ideas and opinions but they also want to see these different perspectives accepted and valued. Employers are responding by offering more collaborative environments to workers and taking concerns over potential discrimination more seriously. Some companies also offer unconscious bias training to employees, so that they can more readily identify discrimination in the workplace.


Ger Buckley

COO, FK International