What comes to mind when you think of the word “millennial?” In recent years, this generation, born between 1981 and 1996, has been pegged by the media as everything from entitled to narcissistic to tech-obsessed. And if you’re an employer who’s spent any time reading all of this negative press, that might make you worried about your current or future millennial nanny.
But the reality is that most of the millennial clickbait is just that—sensationalized headlines meant to play into our collective fears about change and young people. It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up about 75% of the workforce, and the real research shows that these workers are not under-qualified or inherently “worse” than other generations. Instead, they’re innovative, self-motivated, creative, and highly educated. And it’s exactly these qualities that make millennials such great nannies. Millennial nannies may be unlike other caregivers in some ways, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Here are five things millennial nannies value at work and how you can use those preferences to help your nanny thrive.
- Growth Potential
The millennial nanny will likely place a higher value on positions that allow room for growth and creativity. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 87% percent of millennials said that opportunities for professional growth and career development are one of the most important attributes of any job. For this reason, millennial nannies will likely value opportunities to travel, stipends to their training and education, and any opportunity that allows them the means to develop new skills and the freedom to incorporate those skills in meaningful ways. Whether that means learning to code or becoming fluent in a second language, the millennial nanny will constantly be looking for ways to improve in their role, and that’s a plus for any employer.
Millennials desire flexibility in their jobs, and that’s likely why many of them are drawn to being nannies in the first place. Being a nanny affords them the ability to work with diverse clientele, to set their own schedules (depending on the needs of their employers), and to work in a unique, non-office setting. Your millennial nanny will value perks, like ample vacation time and paid sick leave, that allow them to achieve a better work-life balance. But they’ll also likely be game to work unconventional hours if needed, and they’ll be highly self-motivated, since they’re used to thriving in positions where they have more independence.
- Consistent Feedback
To put it simply, your millennial nanny wants to know how they’re doing at work. Sure, this can be accomplished with a yearly review, but according to Forbes, most millennials want feedback throughout the entire year, not just during their review period. An “open door” policy will help your millennial nanny feel more comfortable coming to you with questions or problems, and you may find that a monthly or bi-weekly check-in goes a long way towards improving their satisfaction at work and helping them to become an even better caregiver to your children.
- Competitive Salary and Benefits
Millennials are the most educated generation in history, yet they’re also one of the most broke. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just because they aren’t trying hard enough. The average millennial has about 40 percent more student loan debt than people from the previous generation. They’re also grappling with the fact that earnings mobility has been in decline since the 1980s, meaning that even though the average salary has increased, their spending power has not.
Because wages are fairly stagnant, millennial employees look for jobs that can offer higher salaries, but they also look for great benefits. If you can offer your millennial nanny a great healthcare package, plenty of paid time off, annual bonuses, and access to other perks, like a gym membership, nanny car, occasional use of a vacation home, or any other unique benefit, you’re likely to have a competitive edge in the hiring process.
- A Sense of Purpose
Lest you think millennials are only in it for the perks, nearly nine out of ten of millennials would willingly take a pay cut for work they feel is in alignment with their values and allows them a higher quality of life. Ultimately, your millennial nanny probably became a nanny because childcare is a true passion, and while they appreciate great pay and a strong benefits package, they place a premium on the fulfillment they get from caring for and nurturing children. So remember that your millennial nanny is invested in quality as much as quantity. You don’t have to offer them the world. In the end, they want what we all want: a meaningful career that they can feel passionate about and that gives them the means to become the best versions of themselves.