Surprise! Your Millennial Assignees are Family-oriented

Individualistic to the point of narcissistic. Personal relationships that suffer because of too much time spent on their smart devices. No time or desire to build a family. Lack of concern for their elderly.

These are the characteristics that many people have associated with the millennial workforce. Recent studies, however, have shown that they are far from the truth.

While ambitious and driven, the typical millennial employee or assignee does care deeply for their own family, which may not necessarily be just of the nuclear type. Their devotion to their loved ones in turn can and will impact the work conditions designed to motivate them to produce and excel.

Just to give an example: many of these rising young stars in the workforce will want to have more flexible arrangements in order to spend more time with their spouse, kids, and aging parents. 

A four-day workweek or work-at-home liberties can do wonders for their productivity. So can a travel perk with the rest of the family as a reward for a job well done. As Pacific Prime points out, these young employees or assignees, who range from ages 25-39, cherish the value and reality of family so much because they experienced so little of it while they were growing up. Many American millennials spent their childhood with a single father or mom, or were shuffled between their divorced parents as part of a process known as joint custody.

Now that they are grown, they are determined that their own kids not suffer the same fate. According to one study by the Journal of Marriage and Family, the young fathers of today spend at least one hour a day with their children, compared to only a quarter of that time that their baby boomer grandfathers spent with their offspring. Meanwhile, millennial moms spend an hour more with their teens and toddlers compared to their counterparts from the previous generations.

Family Life also illustrates what makes the millennial workforce’s care of their family different from earlier models. Baby boomers drew a strict line between work and home activities. Gen-X strove for a work-life balance. Interestingly, millennial parents want to build their careers around their family schedules, and ask their older, and probably perplexed, managers to help them do so.

Millennial parents also happen to be sons and/or daughters, and many of them lead active roles in taking care of their aging parents. Workforce says that they either have a direct hand or hire a caregiver while staying in close proximity to them. About 40 million Americans are responsible for the well-being of an adult family member. About 25 percent of this segment are young professionals from the ages of 18 to 34. Again, this breaks the stereotype of inconsiderate, insensitive hedonists who abandon their own folks to nursing homes (and do not visit them for ages). 

These young caregivers would remain loyal to their company and walk another dozen extra miles if their employers give them support in this area, such as paid leaves for caregiver duties.

Solid and compassionate support given to millennials who are investing in the welfare and future of their families can increase their loyalty to the organization and spur them to consistently excel. 

The most successful companies in Silicon Valley have long recognized this by cultivating a sense of home and family within their ranks. Global mobility managers who go the dozen extra miles to take care of the home lives of their families will find that favor returned. Their young workforce will soon regard them as a second family, one they will protect, nourish, and be connected to for the foreseeable future.