We have had many founders who complained to us, on their inability to keep their team together. Like any startup out there, millennials make up most of the team, but are often seen as impatient. The average lifespan of a millennial working in a startup is probably just a handful of months.

So, what are millennials looking for, and what are they expecting? Why are they often being regarded as “impatient”?

Upwards momentum

Well, we have had our fair share of hires – interns, full-timers, part-timers; most of them were millennials. Majority of them seek progress in their day to day work experience, and they often categorize this progress into learning opportunities, and responsibilities.

Benjamin Kickz – made his money selling sneakers to celebrities. There’s no shortage of young, successful entrepreneurs, and sometimes it makes one wonder, WTF am I doing working for someone else?

If we take a look out there, there’s no shortage of youngsters who describe themselves as entrepreneurs – whether it’s due to perceived “coolness” or just to rebel, that’s the mindset millennials have, which is to work for themselves. It is therefore not surprising that even though they work at a “job”, their purpose is first and foremost to serve their growing ambitions and desire.

By providing visible progress in their day to day responsibilities or learning opportunities, employers can be seen as an enabler instead of a hindrance to their goals.

Salary and environment

Many of us measure our worth in terms of dollars and cents, and for millennials, it is not too different. While they may not openly talk about their salary ambitions, when they see their friends who have better footing (better house, better car, better clothes or partners), it becomes automatically an association – better salary, means better things in life.

Also, incase we didn’t realize, millennials have become work-obsessed. Work is a lifestyle, and no longer a chore – so it makes sense to get paid your full worth if you’re already living in office or infront of your laptop. Infact, co-working spaces are even spreading the very idea that working (all day and night) can be fun and productive – if you do it at the right place (with the right people).

Google is known to offer the best perk of all – unlimited free food. (Source: TheSmartLocal)

How then do employers compete for such talent? Pay them for their time’s worth, and even have fun offices to work in. Of course, we’re not saying everyone should have a Playstation in office, ping-pong tables and vending machines, but you catch the drift. Millennials want a work place they can habitate (or hang out) in.

Social interaction and community

Millennials are highly social bunch, most of them live on Facebook (or Instagram), and check their phones every few minutes. It is also probably borne out of necessity to get social approval – because in most households, both parents usually work (and are rarely at home).

It is therefore not surprising when they bring their craving for social interaction and community support to the workplace. We’re just saying, as an employer – don’t expect your millennial employees to sit still on their work desk. Instead, if their needs for social interaction and community bonding is met – they might stay in your company for a very long time (we know, because we’ve built companies).

Conclusion

Millennials can be the smartest, most loyal and social bunch you’ve ever hired. Many companies are beginning to put more thought to their hiring and retention processes, as well as work place environment.

What’s for sure, unless you plan to replace your workforce with robots – you have no choice but to adapt, and there’s no better way than to first observe the 3 important things that millennials look for.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.

 

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He has worn many hats in the past - selling advertising space, banking services, and even trading stocks. In 2013, longing for a change of scenery, he joined Rocket Internet’s (now Alibaba’s) Lazada as a online marketer in Bangkok, where he experienced first hand life in a startup. He never looked back since - landing lead roles at Rocket’s EasyTaxi (Singapore), Rocket’s MEIG (Dubai), and Bamilo (Tehran). After that, he launched (and ran) the Thai venture for one of Singapore’s biggest cross-border ecommerce. Last year, Chong put his expertise to work, helping an SGX-listed company relocate to and run operations in Thailand. Nowadays, he’s just chilling by the countryside.