Top 3 Traits Millennial-friendly Companies Share

By the SMU Social Media Team

Google, Singapore Airlines, Walt Disney Company and Unilever—what do these companies have in common? They were all listed amongst Singapore’s Most Attractive Employers of 2017—a report by Universum which surveyed over 8,800 students across different disciplines, including business, engineering, humanities, arts, education, IT, medicine and law.

As more and more fresher, young graduates enter the workforce, there is no doubt that while the list of factors determining a good work environment largely remains the same, priorities and aspirations will shift over time. So how do companies the likes of Google manage to win the hearts of millennials year after year?

We’ve put together three shared traits that continue to keep these millennial-friendly companies at the top of the list:


1. Flexibility and Work-life Balance

Whether it is Universum’s report or the 2016 Millennial Survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, two factors always top the charts—flexibility and work-life balance. Gone are the days when hiring managers can get away with hinting to their candidates that leaving the office “on the dot” is frowned upon. Chances are, your talent would go straight for the other job offer without batting an eyelid; or you’ll probably be facing a declining employee retention rate.

Offering—within limits—flexible hours or work-from-home days often helps in retaining talents and gives them the space to be more innovative. In fact, a study by Stanford has shown both a reduction in turnover and improvement in productivity for employees who work from home. More importantly, it sends a message of trust—a highly-valued element close to the hearts of millennials.


2. Purpose, Impact

If it’s an office drone you are looking for, you won’t find it among millennial employees. According to human resource firm, Adecco, one of the things that millennials find important in their employer is a sense of purpose. Similarly, both Universum’s and Deloitte’s reports point to this being among the top three criteria.

Organisations that demonstrate support for corporate social responsibility initiatives resonate strongly with the millennial’s desire for creating positive social impact. At the same time, it brings across a sense of sincerity and empathy within the company culture. It’s no longer just about monetary success—personal fulfilment rides high on the satisfaction meter for the millennial.


3. Progress and Recognition

“I don’t feel that I am learning” and “the company doesn’t recognise my accomplishments”—two frequently heard reasons that drive employees to quit. This can’t ring truer than with younger workers. Millennials have been taught to “have aspirations” and “reach higher”, and their thirst for career progression is of utmost importance from the moment they leave school and enter the working world.

Companies that support personalised training and development, as well as offer workplace learning opportunities, rank high among millennials in the motivation department. Furthermore, a conscientious effort by employers in providing regular formal feedback and recognition of their individual achievements is well-appreciated and serves to keep millennials positively engaged at work.