Are millennials motivated by more than materialism?

Here's what really motivates young Australian workers

Are millennials motivated by more than materialism?

Less than half of young people think financial security is a priority for wellbeing. This drives home the point that money isn’t the main motivation for many millennials in the workplace, according to Lead researcher of global HR think-tank Reventure Dr Lindsay McMillan.

“What is interesting is that despite this, millennials are highly driven towards success – twice the rate than that of baby boomers – yet do not seem to be motivated by financial security,” said Dr McMillan.

“While this may seem like an imprudent approach from young Australians, it actually reveals that millennials aren’t as materialistic as they are often portrayed.”

Indeed, only 48% indicated financial security is important to ensure high levels of personal wellbeing compared to 60% of baby boomers and 54% of Gen X, according to the survey of more than 1,000 Australian employees.

“Forty-two per cent of workers define wellbeing as balance in physical, mental, social and spiritual life and only 12% said it is having their desire for a house, income and success met,” Dr McMillan said.

“The implication for business leaders is: how do I motivate my younger employees if half of them want a kind of success not related to how much money they earn?”

Dr McMillan said business leaders should spend more time focusing on benefits that do not have a price tag.

“Creating new opportunities and experiences for career advancement, professional training and especially mentorship will help create jobs that young people really want,” he said.

Dr McMillan concluded that being successful and accomplished is about much more than just a stable income. Indeed, rest, relaxation and healthy friendships rated higher than financial security across all the generations surveyed.


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