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Want to Attract Young Workers? Perks Alone Won’t Be Enough

  • Workplace perks have long been seen as an incentive for attracting younger workers
  • Recent research suggests that workers between the ages of 21-34 are now more likely to seek meaning in their work
  • Leaders and managers can pursue effective communication to help foster these ideals

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

When developing their company culture, some businesses have sought to make themselves a “fun” workplace. These efforts, encompassing everything from a ping-pong table in the break room to company happy hours, are generally seen as a useful way to attract younger workers who might be less amenable to working in a bland layout of cubicles.

Now research from the Missouri School of Journalism’s Novak Leadership Institute and Kansas State University suggests that younger employees are seeking deeper meaning in their work instead of just workplace perks. The findings were based on surveys from 1,000 workers between the ages of 21 and 34 across 18 different career areas.

  • Researchers found that younger workers placed more value on respectful workplace communications than they did on trendy perks
  • Younger workers are more interested in doing meaningful work and finding value in their career
  • Leaders and managers can be effective in fostering these ideals, but may need to put more emphasis on learning to be effective communicators

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