Making An Impact VS Salary: Here’s What Millennials Say Matters Most to Them

When asked what will make a millennial choose one job over another, 38 percent said “visibility and buy-in to the mission and vision of the organisation.”

A newly released survey by the FutureStep division of Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organisational advisory firm, highlights what matters most to millennial workers and offers insight into how best to manage people in this generation.

In the survey of nearly 1,000 executives from around the globe, the largest percentage of respondents (28 percent) said the “ability to make an impact on the business” matters most to millennial employees. At only 3 percent, income came in last on the list.

The survey also found that consistent feedback is a key to managing millennials, with three-quarters of respondents saying this generation needs more feedback than other generations. However, only 13 percent of respondents said they offered more feedback sessions to this group, and less than half offered mentorship opportunities.

“It’s clear that millennials want to know what their organisation stands for and how they can impact the company’s mission,” said Jeanne MacDonald, FutureStep President of Global Talent Acquisition Solutions.

“It is often difficult for older managers to find or take the time to offer the feedback that millennials crave, but it is critical in helping them understand how their role fits into the greater organisational strategy.”

The survey also revealed differences in work styles, with nearly two-thirds of respondents saying millennials are less likely to work longer hours than other generations. It also found that more than half of respondents said, it is equally or more important for millennials to find a job near family than other generations.

Key highlights of the survey findings:

What matters most to your millennial employees?

Ability to make an impact on the business – 28 percent
Work-life balance – 26 percent
Development/ongoing feedback – 15 percent
Values of your organisation – 10 percent
Clear path for advancement – 9 percent
Fun friendly workplace – 9 percent
Income – 3 percent

What Matters Most to Millennial Talent-page-001

Compared to other generations, how willing are millennials to work longer / hours weekends?

Much more willing – 10 percent
Somewhat more willing – 9 percent
Equally willing – 19 percent
Somewhat less willing – 40 percent
Much less willing – 22 percent

What’s the top reason a millennial will choose one job over another?

Visibility and buy-in into the mission / vision of the organisation – 38 percent
Clear path for advancement – 29 percent
Title and pay – 18 percent

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Location / ability to stay near family  – 7 percent
Location/ability to get away from family – 1 percent
Reputation of the company – 6 percent

Compared to other generations, how much feedback do millennials need?

A lot more feedback – 44 Percent
Somewhat more feedback – 33 percent
About the same amount of feedback – 10 percent
Somewhat less feedback – 9 percent
A lot less feedback – 3 percent

“It’s important to note that as an archetype, millennials will stay engaged and productive if they feel they are valued,” said MacDonald. “Bosses of other generations who feel they show their own worth by working long hours need to understand, that this is not the case for millennials and respect their time on and off the job.”

When asked with which generation millennials work best, Gen X (those born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s) and Gen Z (those born in the mid-1990s on) tied for the top spot at 44 percent each. Baby Boomers came in a distant third at 12 percent.

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“Organisational leaders who understand the differences in the work styles and preferences of employees in different generations can uncover unconscious biases to foster greater collaboration and success,” MacDonald added.

Top Image: Elena Elisseeva /




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