The millennial generation of employees would choose flexible-working options, work-life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments above financial rewards, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Southern California.
The Nextgen survey, which polled 44,000 employees, also found that millennials, those born between 1980 and 1995, are more likely to stay in a job if they feel supported and appreciated, and are part of a cohesive team.
This contrasts with the non-millennial generation, which places greater importance on pay and development opportunities.
Flexibility is seen as a key priority for both generations of workers, with 21% of female and 15% of male respondents saying they would give up some of their pay and delay a promotion in exchange for more workplace flexibility.
However, millennials are largely unwilling to give up a good work-life balance. This generation of workers is not convinced that early career sacrifices are worth the potential later rewards.
Gaenor Bagley, head of people at PWC, said: “Millennials want more from their jobs than just financial reward.
“A strong and supportive team, flexibility and work-life balance are far more likely to keep this generation motivated at work and many would be willing to forgo pay rises and promotions for greater flexibility.
“Millennials view work as a thing, rather than a place, so organisations will need to free themselves from the traditional nine-to-five mentality if they want to attract and retain this generation of workers.
“The millennial generation will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, so it is vital employers understand what motivates this generation.
“Many organisations will have to completely re-think how they attract and reward their workers, or risking losing the best talent to [employers] which adapt to meet their needs.”