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What Millennials Want (Hint: It's Not Air Hockey)

In the last decade or so, the workforce has seen the rise of quirky job perks. The elusive "millennial" is described as a job-hopping, adventure seeking, entitled workaholic who prefers a purpose-driven career as opposed to a 9-5 cubicle job. Millennials cycle through jobs more quickly, with only half of them (as opposed to 60% of non-millennials) expecting to be at their current job a year from now. With their reputation preceding them, what other choice do companies have than to scramble to be better than the next? It has become the norm for office culture to have all the bells and whistles.

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But the truth will surprise you.

What 2 things do millennials want the most? 

Advancement in the workplace.

Annual raises.

We know, it's surprising, right? But think about it – with this generation having higher student loan debt (the average millennial owes $30,000), a home ownership rate at a record low, delaying marriages and family-starting, it's not shocking that money and career stability is on the forefront of young people's minds.

What does this mean?

Assume loyalty. Companies need to drop the assumption that millennials already have their foot out the door. Believing your employees aren't loyal and are antsy for the next Big Thing means you won't bother to invest time and money into them. They long for stability but are walking with the weight of financial and social pressures on their shoulders.

Give raises. It's one of the easiest and most effective ways of showing that you appreciate your team. It might feel like extra money isn't much of a gesture, but getting a brand new job gives an employee 8-10% pay increase on average. You don't need to match this for a raise every year, but it's certainly worth keeping in mind. A bonus in a heavy-spending time of year (think wedding season or the holidays) can also be a great motivator.

Give your employees a voice. Letting your team be involved in the future of the company makes them more invested in its success. It's important to make sure they know you trust and value their opinions, so when the time comes for a promotion or a new position, they'll be considered. Giving them respect and responsibilities will go a long way.