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It’s Official:

Millennials Want Development More Than High Salaries

Why do you go to work?

Most people will simply respond that they have to do it to pay the bills, gather material resources, and otherwise finance their lifestyles. It’s a means to an end. It’s a necessary – and frankly unwanted – part of life. It’s something you need to survive. 

But that’s no longer how many millennials see it. Yes – they want their financial independence. But money isn’t enough for them. They also want development. 

What Does Development Mean?

We all have a rough idea of what we mean by development: the process of advancing somebody in their careers. But why do millennials want this so much?

Well, part of it has to do with a perception that they need it to succeed. Development, as they see it, is a gateway to higher earnings and the promised land. It’s also a way for them to hold onto the idea of progress. So long as they’re moving forward in their careers, they’re acceptable to themselves. 

For companies, this phenomenon suggests a couple of changes in their approach. Interestingly, pay doesn’t seem to matter as much as it once did. Yes – people still want money. But they’re also looking for something loftier as well. Raw transactional relationships are not sufficient. 

This new approach to work also suggests that companies should implement learning as a part of the job role. Millennials and other younger workers want to feel like they’re on a career “path” – a kind of journey. Sure, we all know that there’s no ultimate destination. But that doesn’t seem to matter. They want to know that they have a shot of being the top dog in the organization – the head honcho. Without that sense in the back of the mind, turning up to work feels like drudgery. 

How Do Companies Respond To Millennial Job Requirements? 

Knowing this, the first task for your company is to accommodate learning and development. You want it to be constant background noise in the organization – something people are always working towards. 

To do this, you could use an LMS system – something that allows you to track employee progress. You can also deliver development training over the internet, and find ways to help members of your business achieve more responsible career positions. 

Companies should consider tying specific milestones to upgrades in salary and position. Millennials will detect that your training is phony if it doesn’t lead to real-world outcomes. 

Having training can make talented people view your organization as a stepping stone to something better. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, even if you have a talented person for a couple of years, you can always rotate them out and find another one, train them up, and repeat the process. 

What matters in business is what you’re doing, right now, not what might happen in the future. So long as you always have great people on your side, it doesn’t really matter if they come and go. 

So the bottom line is this: choose progress over pay when reimbursing millennials. And try to avoid making the relationship you have with them purely transactional.



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