How Millennial Employees are Revolutionizing the WorkForce
What do you think of when you think of millennials?
Honestly, many of us can’t actually agree objectively on what it means to be a millennial. The numbers range anywhere from birthdays as early as 1980 to as late as 2004, with opinions every year in between. The researchers who first coined the term “millennials” defined them as anyone born from 1982-2004.
The millennial generation has a reputation that often precedes them. When it comes to understanding millennials, we most often rely on a vague reputation rather than facts. It’s a reputation based on an immersion in technology that has changed the way we interact with the world.
And that reputation isn’t always a good one. It’s the reputation of social networks, quick fixes, and an age of convenience that often leads to the perception that millennials are entitled and less hardworking than the ones that came before them.
However, millennials make up approximately 40% of the US workforce and counting, and they’re leaving more of a mark than just their time spent surfing the internet.
The Millennial Takeover
Over the past decade or so, businesses have begun to realize that millennials are indeed the future of the workforce. There are at least 2.4 billion people in the world under the age of 30, and it’s predicted that in the next ten years, “75% of the workplace will be millennials no matter where you are.”
That means companies must work to implement changes now in order for millennial workers to stick around. Research shows that millennials are a generation not afraid to live on the move until they’re satisfied with their circumstances. The 2016 Deloittle Millennial Survey found that two in every three millennials expect to leave their current employer by 2020, whether it be to join a different company or to try a different career path.
The numbers themselves don’t look good for any company hoping to harness the potential of the largest portion of the US workforce unless some major changes are made in how we work.
What Do Millenials Want?
Like many companies, worldwide consulting firm PwC noticed their younger employees were leaving at rapid rates So, they took action by completing a study of their own workforce, the largest of its kind, “to better understand the attitudes and goals of its millennial workforce.” The results were actually remarkably simple.
In the words of The Center for Creative Leadership, “fundamentally, millennials want to do interesting work, with people they enjoy, for which they are well paid--and still have enough time to live their life.”
And aren’t those goals with which we can all identify?
Millennials are asking for a greater sense of community in the workplace, including greater diversity and inclusion. They are also prioritizing social responsibility when considering the long-term value of a business and career, sometimes more so than financial compensation.
Their standards for leadership are and will become even more focused on “values, ethics, flexibility, and feedback.” Some attribute this to the fact that technology has further exposed the value judgments of executives and leaders, making it easier than ever before to decide if you support someone’s business practices. Media has made us all more aware of how business is conducted, whether we like it or not.
That last aspect of work-life balance was the area where researchers noticed the biggest difference between millennials and their predecessors. Comparatively, millennials are more concerned with long-term sustainability and skill growth rather than increasing profit margins or earning promotions quickly.
Deolittle discovered that millennials rated good work-life balance as the most important part of job consideration, outside of salary. And even then, many said they were willing to work longer for promotions and raises if it meant a more flexible schedule and a culture of respect.
Ultimately, millennials are asking for more flexibility, better working conditions, and more opportunities to develop their leadership skills. And they’re not afraid to leave a company to find one that will provide that for them.
How Can We Respond?
As millennials lead the charge for a workplace beyond the typical 9-5 grind that satisfied their predecessors, businesses are following suit in order to earn and keep the trust of their youngest and most promising employees.
PwC found that a combination of unique professional development opportunities, chances to work remotely, and general transparency greatly increased the satisfaction of their millennial staff. They incorporated retreats and more remote working options, accompanied by a more open line of communication all around.
Any business can make the changes they need to satisfy the millennial crowd, which is now one of their greatest resources. Productivity tools like Prodoscore and innovations like G-suite make it easier to work on the go so that there’s more time to cultivate a life outside of the office. Remote working is now an available option for any company.
In short, millennials aren’t flaky, needy, or inconsiderate as is often assumed. In fact, their requests are fairly reasonable They are resourceful and hard-working, but demanding more for the time and energy they will spend at work. And the world is readily meeting those demands to keep up.