Fair Pay, a Voice and Competent Bosses: Too Much to Ask?




China Gorman


May 20, 2014

Fair Pay, a Voice and Competent Bosses: Too Much to Ask?



In previous posts, I’ve discussed data about Millennials’ perceptions and expectations in the workplace, a hugely popular topic, which makes sense considering that this demographic cohort accounts for 77 million workers between the ages of 18 and 35 (according to FORTUNE).

Great Rated!, the website for jobseekers created by Great Place To Work, recently released a “10 Great Workplaces For Millennials" list, identifying companies offering the best benefits and perks for this group.

When it comes to Millennials, what companies snagged the top spots? Intuitive Research and Technologycame in at number one on the list, followed by David Weekley Homes and Allied Wallet. You can check out the full list here for the 10 company rankings and their Great Rated! Reviews.

The research conducted for this list of workplaces that stand out as exceptional for Millennial employees is highlighted, but also identified are the sorts of practices and programs that move the needle for these employees. When looking at workplace culture features that differed most between the top 10 great workplaces for Millennials and the 10 least-great workplaces for Millennials, a few areas stood out.

Survey data revealed “fair pay” as a very important feature of great workplaces for Millennials. There was a 37 percentage point difference between the top 10 companies for Millennials and bottom 10 companies based on responses to the statement, “I feel I receive a fair share of the profits made by this organization.” Millennials also place a high value on having a say in decisions at their organization. 

Our study recorded a 28 percentage point difference between the top 10 and bottom 10 companies in response to the statement “Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.” Additionally, competent management is a highly valued feature for Millennials, with a 26-percentage point difference on “Management does a good job of assigning and coordinating people.”

The analysis also highlighted some surprising workplace features that don’t move the needle much for Millennials. One such feature is interesting considering it’s been such a hot-topic: work-life balance. There was just a 10-percentage point difference between the top 10 workplaces for Millennials and the bottom 10 for the question “I am able to take time off from work when I think it’s necessary.” This statement was one of the 10 with the least amount of difference among all 58 survey statements.

The response calls into question the attention that has been placed on Millennials’ desire for work-life balance. Has this dynamic been overblown? It’s possible, but perhaps it’s more likely that many employers have considerably improved programs and policies that promote work-life balance, making it a moot point for Millennial respondents.

Another two surprising work-place dynamics that were not greatly distinguishable between the top 10 workplaces for Millennials and bottom 10 workplaces were self-expression (with just a 10 percentage point difference on the statement: “I can be myself around here”) and friendly, welcoming workplaces (with an 8 percentage point difference on the statement “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome”).

Again, these percentages beg the question of whether the importance Millennials place on such dynamics has been hyped up, and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of Millennial expectations. Considering the top features that Millennials did identify as highly important though (fair pay, say in decisions, and competent management) it seems more likely that these aren’t necessarily features that Millennials don’t value, but features that companies have greatly improved versus features that are often problematic for companies.

Do these trends accurately reflect the workplace programs that are important to your Millennial employees?


China Gorman