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Build Your Career Office Life

For Millennials, Company Culture Means (Almost) Everything

For Millennials, Company Culture Means (Almost) Everything
Credit: 3DwithLove/Shutterstock

Many younger employees may be on the move this year in an effort to find a different workplace culture, new research shows.

Nearly 45 percent of millennials plan to actively look for a new job in 2015, according to a study from Aon Hewitt, a retirement and health solutions firm.

Rather than focusing on the values they deem most important, such as work-life balance, employee recognition, loyalty and respect, Millennials said their employers are too focused on things like teamwork, profit and customer satisfaction, rather than on the values Gen Y deems most important, such as work-life balance, employee recognition, loyalty and respect.

Open communication, professional growth, fairness, humor, fun, clarity and well-being are among the values millennials are seeking but not getting.

Ray Baumruk, employee research leader at Aon Hewitt, said it's not surprising that employees in their 20s and 30s are more likely to job hop in an effort to advance their careers.

"Our research shows there is a clear disconnect between what millennials expect and desire from employers, and what their employers are actually offering," Baumruk said in a statement. "This gap is negatively impacting the engagement and retention of this generation, and may be one of the primary reasons why millennials will be looking for new opportunities in 2015."

While the majority of the millennials surveyed said pay and benefits are most likely to increase their overall engagement and satisfaction with their current employer, those aren't the only things they're seeking. Good career and development opportunities, performance recognition, open and complete communication, flexible work environments and a strong leadership team are among the other ways employers can increase happiness among their youngest employees. [The 4 Job Skills Employers Want to See on Your Resume ]

Pam Hein, a partner with Aon Hewitt, said millennials expect to feel appreciated for their efforts, see opportunities to advance, be more empowered in the workplace and have the flexibility to balance their work and home lives.

"Younger employees want to work in an environment where information flows freely and authentically, and where people know they can count on one another," Hein said. "The data show there is a significant opportunity for employers to offer a more unique and compelling work experience that will match what millennials want and, in turn, increase retention [in the] long term."

The study was based on surveys of 2,539 employees of all ages working at companies with at least 1,000 people. The survey examined the differences of employee preferences and expectations across generations, including millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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