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Millennials on the move?

Wednesday February 25, 2015 Written by  Aon Hewitt
At a time when employers are looking to attract and retain talent, many Millennials are planning to actively hunt for new jobs.

According to Aon Hewitt, two in five American Millennials (43 per cent) are planning to actively search for a new job this year.

The survey found that Millennials feel what they value in an organization is different than the priorities of their current workplace. Most employees believe their employers' current values focus on more organizational-oriented themes, including teamwork, profit and customer satisfaction. When asked what qualities are the most desirable in an organization, Millennials cited more relationship-oriented values, including work/home balance, employee recognition, loyalty and respect.

Other values with large perception gaps between what’s current and what’s desired include open communication, professional growth, fairness, humour/fun, clarity, and physical/emotional/mental/spiritual well-being.

"It's not surprising that employees in their mid-twenties and thirties are more likely to job hop as they look to advance their careers and improve their pay and benefits," said Ray Baumruk, employee research leader with Aon Hewitt. "However, our research shows there is a clear disconnect between what Millennials expect and desire from employers, and what their employers are actually offering. This gap is negatively impacting the engagement and retention of this generation, and may be one of the primary reasons why Millennials will be looking for new opportunities in 2015."

Aon Hewitt recommends that employers clearly define their employment value proposition, emphasizing the most compelling and differentiating features of the organization. It's important to focus on the areas that really matter to Millennials, like offering career development opportunities and a flexible work environment. Using this insight will help deliver a better employment experience, attract new employees and retain top talent, drive higher levels of engagement and improve business performance.

What Millennials want

When asked to rank what specific areas they would most like to see improved in their current workplace to increase their overall engagement or satisfaction, the top responses among Millennials were:

  • Pay and benefits (51 per cent)
  • Good career or development opportunities (39 per cent)
  • Performance recognition (38 per cent)
  • Open/complete communication (34 per cent)
  • Flexible work environment (33 per cent)
  • Fun (30 per cent)
  • Having a strong management and leadership team (30 per cent)

"Beyond wanting competitive pay and benefits, Millennials expect to feel appreciated for their efforts, see opportunities to advance, be more empowered in the workplace, and also have the flexibility to balance their lives at work and home," said Pam Hein, partner with communication consulting at Aon Hewitt. "Younger employees want to work in an environment where information flows freely and authentically and where people know they can count on one another. The data show there is a significant opportunity for employers to offer a more unique and compelling work experience that will match what Millennials want, and in turn increase retention long-term."

Aon Hewitt's Inside the Employee Mindset study surveyed more than 2,500 U.S. employees working at companies with a least 1,000 people to determine their perspectives and attitudes about their employment experience – including values and culture, work environment, engagement, total rewards and communication. The survey examined the differences of employee preferences and expectations across generations, including Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

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