It’s no surprise that millennials are taking the corporate world by storm, especially as the generation makes up a growing proportion of the workforce. As an educated, tech-savvy, socially conscious and civic-minded cohort, millennials bring lots to the table for employers and should be highly valued.
Recent research conducted by American Express Canada and Catalyst Canada shows that this generation is a success-driven group who are highly ambitious in their careers and keen to capitalize on their earning power; findings that contrast with some popular, yet misleading and problematic misconceptions about millennials. The cross-country research also highlights the needs of younger women in the workplace, including their career goals, values and definition of success.
Through our research, we can help employers truly value this generation and continue to focus on how to harness and maintain this strong millennial talent. In addition, the research also helps companies better understand what millennials look for in a workplace and how to leverage their wants and needs to inform new product and service offerings.
At American Express Canada, 34 per cent of our employees were born between 1981 and 1996. We’re already reaping benefits from the prioritization of millennials’ career needs and wants − and their unique skill set and perspective enhances our organization’s culture dramatically.
What are millennials looking for in an employer?
The needs of young employees today are different than they were 30 – or even 10 – years ago. According to our research, millennial women and men look for mentorship, support and greater equality when choosing their employers. While 78 per cent of millennial women surveyed said they had worked for multiple companies in their careers, the evidence actually suggests success-driven millennials will stay with one company substantially longer when they find an organization that meets their needs and goals. In other words, they tend to work harder and stay longer when they’re content with their workplace.
It’s clear millennials value mentorship when choosing an employer. They understand the value that fellow colleagues bring to the table, especially those with more experience. Millennials are better at leveraging their professional and personal networks to achieve career success than previous generations, because they tend to derive more value from interpersonal relationships.
Does your company offer what millennials need?
Organizations that understand the advantage of having millennials in their workforce are better prepared to make changes that will attract new talent and support existing employees. Millennials look for flexible work-from-home policies, mentorship and sponsorship programs when they consider a long-term career option, as well as organizations that promote inclusivity, diversity and equality.
At American Express, we support the priorities of millennials. We’ve moved into a flexible work environment, invested in technological tools to enable staff to stay connected remotely, and we promote inclusivity and diversity: 60 per cent of our employees in Canada are women.
Organizations need to highlight their unique benefits, values and flexible remote-work tools in order to attract young talent and ensure that they’ll stick around.
How can this generation help inform product and service strategies among your company?
Millennials aren’t just a critical component of a company’s employee network. They are also an essential customer: a booming generation that companies need to understand better in order to develop products and/or services for them.
For example, in 2017 we launched the American Express Cobalt Card, a credit card marketed specifically to millennials, created with the unique needs and wants of millennials in mind – their spending, saving, lifestyle and reward-driven habits.
Millennials are changing the future of corporate Canada, both as colleagues and consumers. This generation is poised to take over the marketplace - and they will only bring with them organizations willing to support their unique values, needs and desires.
Content produced by American Express Canada. The Globe and Mail was not involved in its creation.