Blogger Tamryn Sher is a millennial in the workplace. She tells us why millennials are doing things differently to their parents – and how investing in this generation will reward you with loyal (and fulfilled) employees…

When you hear the sentence ‘millennials in the workplace’, what are the first words that come to mind? Instant gratification, they job hop every nine months, they work the hours they’re paid to work and then they leave. Sound familiar?

There’s definitely a generation gap in terms of people in the workplace, but has anyone ever asked a millennial why they job hop so often and what would make them stay at a company for longer?

As a millennial, this is what I can tell you:

We’ve grown up as the byproduct of our parents’ generation. A generation where you stayed at a job for 10+ years and did what you needed to do to keep the job, sacrificing your personal and family life as part of the carnage.

As a result, we are byproducts of broken homes. Everyone I know is from a broken home, where both parents work long hours and when they’re home they don’t want to do anything but sleep and unwind.
Our parents don’t cook, we have cooks or eat ready-made meals. As a result, we’ve started businesses like uCook, WhyCook and FitChef as we’re great at identifying gaps in the market.

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We’re also trying to save time doing the things we have to do, so we can spend more time doing the things we want to do.

Millenials place value on different things than our parents did, in an effort to learn from their experiences and carve a life we want to live

We place value on relationships and experiences

Not so much on marriage, as we’ve seen our parents place little value on it. Millenials have relations, without having relationships.

We don’t all want to have children, as we’ve grown up in homes seeing first hand how our parents didn’t have time for us. We were seen as a burden, so we’ve chosen to rather travel and invest in ourselves than to give up our lives for someone else.

Companies are hiring fewer people to do more work. Ten people are doing the work of 15 to 20 people: as a result, employees are expected to work longer hours, often without compensation. This is starting to affect our personal lives and our relationships. The minute we see this, we course correct.

“We leave jobs that are taking advantage of us”

As a millennial, I can safely say that we leave our jobs that are taking advantage of us, in the search for the ever elusive work life balance, until the cycle repeats itself.

We are ambitious in our careers but in our personal lives too. We understand how to work hard and smart. We’re well known for coming to work, putting our heads down for eight hours straight and then we are ready to leave and go focus on our second jobs, our home life and our families.

Corporates are not supporting us in the pursuit of personal and professional excellence

Millennials who don’t have personal lives, are investing 100% into their careers, and without balance we are suffering more from mental illness than we are from physical illness. Millennials are on anti-depressants, trying their hardest to keep their jobs.

Rather than accept the status quo, millenials are trying to change it

Instead of accepting the high turnover rate, there’s a very easy solve:

  • Embrace millenials: offer them more experiences, as that is what they value.
  • Allow them to work flexi-time, give them duvet days for overtime worked, close for a week in December and don’t make it forced leave.
  • Buy them a cake for their birthdays to show them you value them (give them that instagrammable moment).
  • Give them bonuses instead of year-end functions, so they can spend money on their families rather than spending more time with their colleagues.
  • Give them time off and cash incentives instead of having an open bar once a week.
  • Create a corporate culture at your office where it’s not all about work, but about the people too.
  • Offer a decent maternity and paternity benefit.

Want to pi** off a millennial? Show them that you don’t care about their personal lives. Want loyalty that you cannot buy? Invest in your millennials as people.

Try this for six months and tell me if your millennials stay. Do focus groups in terms of productivity and happiness – the numbers won’t lie.

Are you a millennial and do you agree with my thoughts?

Want to read more from Tamryn? Find her blog at Www.itsasherthing.co.za