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What Millennial Employees Really Want

Fastcompany: Many millennials want to make the world a better place, and the future of work lies in inspiring them. Here’s what smart companies can do. Despite struggling with debt, recession, and the jobs crisis, millennials—who will account for 75% of the workforce in 2025— are not motivated by money. Rather, they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.

More than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good.

The future of work lies in empowering millennial talent. Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey found that 7,800 future leaders from 29 different countries say the business world is getting it wrong. Some 75% say they feel businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than improving society, while only 28% say they feel their current organization is making full use of their skills.

From my interviews with numerous millennial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and leaders with both for-profit, social enterprise, and nonprofit backgrounds, a similar pattern to this data emerges. Millennials want to work with purpose, and they want their workplace to be aligned with their values. IBM’s February 2015 millennial study found that millennial career goals don’t differ that much from older generations. Baby boomers, gen-Xers, and millennials all want to make a positive impact on their organization and help solve social and environmental challenges.

My parents’ generation grew up without computers, while my generation can’t remember a life without Facebook. We’re both looking for meaning in the workplace, so how can companies deliver on meaningful employee engagement? I recently spoke at SAP Sapphire Now conference about several ideas to attract, retain, and empower top millennial talent.

Don’t Just Talk About Impact: Make An Impact

Many companies use words such as impact and purpose without seriously moving the needle on major social and environmental problems. Millennials want to work for organizations that are transparent about how they’re using their technology, their resources, and their talent. They also want to create shared value, make positive social and environmental changes, and increase opportunities for disadvantaged populations.

The best thing about impact is you can’t fake it. No one wants to work for a company—or buy a company’s product—that is destroying the planet. Recruiting the top talent of tomorrow begins with making a difference today. Read full article

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