A common misconception about Millennials is that, as a group, we are most concerned with getting high-paying jobs. This drives management to set compensation and retention policies that aren’t fully attractive to Millennials. It can also leave management baffled when Millennials leave seemingly ideal jobs for something less certain. According to a Pew Study, the following represents the % of what Millennials’ say is “one of the most important things in their lives.”
Being a good parent (52%)
Having a successful marriage (30%)
Helping others in need (21%)
Owning a home (20%)
Living a very religious life (15%)
And, after all that, only 15% of Millennials list a high-paying career as one of the most important things in their lives. Increasingly, Millennials value the ability of a job to integrate with their lives, rather than to take them over. The implication is that a salary is not the same hold that it used to be for the average worker – certainly not enough to be unhappy. From my own experience, I gave up a very high, stable salary (top 10% for my age bracket) because I was unhappy and wanted to pursue a Master’s degree. Management should keep this in mind when evaluating incentive packages – gone are the days when a high salary is able to buy loyalty from employees.
Pew Research Center. (2010, February). Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next – Confident. Connected. Open to Change. 2; 4; 10. Retrieved July 2012, from The Pew Research Center: Millennials: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change.pdf