Who are Millennials? The generation of children born between 1982-2002, whose ages range from 15 – 35 years. Some Millennials have been in the workplace for many years while others are just graduating college. They make up a very large percentage of the workforce, and their numbers are growing.
However, at the same time, many Millennials are leaving their jobs. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey , 64% of Millennials within the U.S. are likely to leave their job in the next 5 years. What this generation is looking for from employers is different than in generations past.
It is important for employers to understand the Millennial generation and what matters to them when making career choices, if they want to command loyalty from this cohort.
1. Millennials want to make a difference
The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey  reveals that this generation wants to know that they are making a difference in the broader community as well as within their workplace.
In the veterinary industry, it is a given that an employee is making a difference in the community – they are helping their communities’ precious pets! But how do they know they are making a difference within the veterinary hospital?
As an employer, you should express how much you value your Millennial employees. If they know that they are valued, they will know they are making a difference. Simple phrases like “Thank you for doing this on such short notice. It helped me a lot!” or “I really appreciate that you took on that project” will go a long way in the eyes of a Millennial.
Another way in which employers can express the value that Millennials have within the workplace is through evaluations and feedback. According to an article within the Journal of Business and Psychology, this group craves feedback, coaching and open communication from their supervisors. Providing Millennials with feedback (or all your employees for that matter) lets them know that you truly value their work and want them to do well and grow, which leads me to my next point.
2. Millennials want opportunities to learn, grow and advance
According to Harvard Business Review , a Gallup report concluded that Millennials place a greater emphasis on the opportunity to learn and grow when applying for a job. However, 63% of Millennials believe that their “leadership skills are not being developed” according to the Deloitte 2016 study. When job searching, they want to make sure that there is an opportunity to grow within the company. They also want to make sure there are opportunities to learn from others.
A 2014 Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll  found that 91% of Millennials stated that achieving success in their career is necessary to living a good life, as compared to 71% of baby boomers. The same poll found that 75% of Millennials think achieving personal goals and dreams is necessary for a good life, compared to only 55% of baby boomers.
This generation is not looking for any job that will pay the bills and provide enough money to live a good life. They want a job that is meaningful and allows them to achieve goals. Sharing responsibilities and providing small leadership opportunities can be a great start for employers to recognize Millennials’ desire to grow and learn. Put one of your Millennial employees in charge of your clinic’s social media page, or if they have strong organizational skills, put them in charge of maintaining the schedule in their department. These tasks will provide them with a valuable leadership role, while appealing to their desire to grow.
3. Millennials want to work in a team environment
This generation enjoys working with team members and finds comfort in collaboration. Data collected by PGI  found that 88% of Millennials want a fun and social work environment compared with only 60% of Baby Boomers.
For Millennials, the opportunity to work as part of a team creates a more pleasurable workplace. In the veterinary industry, creating a fun and social environment based on teamwork does not need to take away from client service or caring for your patients. Simply expressing how important everyone’s role is in the cycle of client service shows that the entire hospital works as a team. Holding events outside of the workplace can also create a fun and social environment where employees can interact outside of the veterinary hospital. If employees feel closer to one another and understand the importance of their role within the hospital, the environment will naturally become more positive.
As employers, it is very important to understand the differences between generations in order to have loyal employees. The Millennial generation is officially the largest in the workplace now so there is no doubt that veterinary hospitals will have plenty of them as employees. Therefore, one must allow them to feel valued and that they make a difference within the community as well as the workplace. It is also crucial to provide them with opportunities to grow, learn and advance through coaching, feedback and leadership duties. Finally, providing a team environment will keep your Millennial employees coming to work with a positive attitude.