If you are a business owner, manager or colleague of millennials you may find that you just don’t quite “get” them. This can become problematic if you are attempting to relate to the younger generation in your workplace and they just aren’t responding to your motivational methods. It’s important to understand what motivates millennials in the workplace to not only attract and retain millennial employees but also to make a positive impact on your overall workplace environment.

Most millennials have strong values when it comes to their careers and what their workplace means to them. Often what millennials value is not relatable to older generations. With effective business coaching and mentoring, we want to help you figure out, what do millennials want at work?

Get In Line With Their Values

Millennials get a bad reputation by those who don’t understand them as being lazy or self -centred. This is far from the truth. Millennials just don’t think like Baby Boomers or Gen Xers and that is OK. Unlike their older colleagues, Millennials report that a good work/life balance is most important to them. Millennials are less attracted to the 9-5 workday and will go above and beyond to be able to have more flexibility in the workplace.

Some great ways to make your workplace more flexible are to;

  • Consider flex hours and later start times
  • Offer shortened seasonal hours
  • Consider work from home opportunities

Technology has made flexible hours easier than ever and not every employee will always need to be in an office setting. Millennials will work hard for you if it means that they have more time to spend with their young families or participating in their personal experiences. Flexibility in the workplaces makes millennials happy and they will be much more motivated to stay in a position that works with them. Simply knowing, what do millennials value in the workplace, will help you keep your team motivated.

Create Opportunities

Millennials care about growth and want to feel like they are constantly moving forward and acquiring new skills in their careers. Nothing will demotivate a millennial employee more than feeling like they are stagnant and stuck in a career without growth. The best way to motivate millennial employees to stay in a position is to consider creating opportunities for millennials to show that you value them and want to allow them to learn and grow in their career.

Consider offering training opportunities that allow employees to build on their current skill set or even lean new ones. Allow all levels of employees the opportunity to attend industry conferences when possible. Give them access to a millennial life coach. Even less costly internal training is important to millennials if they feel that it adds to their knowledge and makes them a better employee.

You should also consider a corporate structure that allows for growth and recognition within your company. Give your employees something to work towards, be it a promotion, title changes, quarterly awards or even end of year trips or bonuses. Millennials love a challenge and want to make workplace goals they also love being able to talk about their success. When your employees do outstanding work you should reward them for it.


Encourage Them To Have A Say

Millennials don’t like blindly following a leader. They want to know why decisions are being made and when possible like to have a say in new policy. If you’ve ever found that you’ve changed a policy and you suddenly have feet dragging in the office, it may be that your employees just don’t feel like they have a voice in the officer.

Consider asking for feedback when making new policy or making changes to daily operations. When decisions are made by management alone, take time to explain them to employees. Let them ask questions and give them honest answers. Sometimes you might even be surprised by the feedback you get and it may make your decisions better ones for your entire workplace!

Be Involved In The Community

Social issues matter to millennials. Whether your company makes regular donations to a cause or participates in seasonal giving opportunities this is something that attracts and motivates millennials. Showing that you care about more than the bottom line is a major motivator for millennials. They want to be a part of something bigger than them and being charitable allows them to do so. Consider incorporating giving into your corporate structure by;

· Having earth friendly policies
· Running charitable events
· Donating profits to a set cause
· Sponsoring employees’ personal charitable initiatives.

Being charitable is a great look for any business and not just for your customers. Millennial employees want to work for people that are socially responsible and care about their environment too.


Millennials want to do great work and can at times be worried that they aren’t a valued employee. Part of what keeps millennials motivated is letting them know that they are a valued member of the team. Give them regular feedback by pointing out the things they do great. Call out a standout employee in a team email or highlight team stats. Millennials want to know that you value their time. Consider giving performance reviews more often and encourage your employees to be an advocate for their own performance.


At the end of the day millennials also want to have fun! Look at your office and find ways to bring more fun into the workplace. If you can accommodate a lunchroom with games or fun colours on the walls, do it. Companies like Google or Amazon have functional spaces that also allow for fun and creativity. Allow employees to bring in their own chairs or work at standing desks and make your office a great environment to be in.

You could also consider implementing out of office team building activities like bowling or trivia. This is a lot of fun for the entire office and helps bring excitement to the space. Employers and employees alike will have a great time connecting with each other outside of the typical office setting.

Millenials Work Hard

Millennials may challenge your perspective on a functional workplace, but they are not lazy or unproductive. It isn’t hard to figure out what millennials want in the workplace.

Millennials value their careers but don’t want to be slaves to their job. Keep the workplace fun and fresh by offering opportunities to grow. Remember that millennials value their off time as much as they do the careers they worked hard to obtain.