At this time of year we look to all things new; this week CrosseHR is looking at millennials (those born circa 1982 and 20 years after) and how they are shaping the world of work. So what do the studies show? Well…
Millennials are constantly sharing and communicating with others, putting forth their ideas and creations and working together to make them better. We only need to look at social networks to see this is true; it’s a common misconception that people only use Facebook to post mundane and self-righteous things about themselves, which is true in some cases but certainly not the majority of millennials. If we examine social media use for what it actually is millennials post things that they have thought about, are interested in or have created, opening themselves up exposing opposite or similar opinion, interests and creations constantly building upon each other. Collaboration is key to the millennial’s success, they build together rather than fighting it out for the best idea. If we look at google for instance; collaboration is at it’s very core and employees work in groups to find solutions to the worlds problems. A correlation can be drawn between workplaces which have free flowing communication and good employee satisfaction, 47% of millennials are likely to remain with a firm for 5 years or more which achieve both.
They’re not as loyal
A quarter of millennials expect to have 6 or more employers in their lifetime signalling higher employee turnover for businesses, further this figure has risen from 10% in 2008 perhaps indicating future rises. The other headings in this article may go some way in explaining this, there is certainly an emphasis on work/life balance and that the money is no longer the key driving factor. Perhaps a presumption can be made; millennials seem to factor in personal happiness in their career choices so are less likely to stay in a job where they’re not happy. Another factor is flexibility; they actively seek it. Many workplaces work within traditional rigid hours and emphasise punctuality, whilst for some workplaces this is of course vital, millennials enjoy the freedom of being able to work where and when they want. Flexibility doesn’t mean the work doesn’t get done but instead means if you as the manager need something done by a certain time and to a certain level than it may be in your interests to employ flexible hours. Studies have shown when workers are allowed to set their own working hours and workplace they are likely to be more productive and their work of a higher quality. Perhaps it’s time for the world of work to recognise that traditional systems are not fit for the modern workforce, especially taking into account the pull factors for millennials, they are unlikely to change their way of thinking to fit traditional practice. 71% of millennials in the UK expect to leave their current organisation within the next 5 years.
They want a quick climb
Millennials look to the stars and want to get to the ceiling as quickly as possible. The number one pull factor for millennials is career progression, 54% said that progression prospects make an employer attractive, this trumped competitive salaries with 44% citing wage packets. Millennials have grown up in a world where anything is possible, their generation is truly one of ambition and technology is often their way of achieving it; they understand it, harness it and make the workplace smarter, quicker and profitable as a result. A survey carried out by Deloitte found that 71% of millennials are likely to leave their job within 2 years if they felt their leadership skills weren’t being developed, 57% leaving their job within 2 years if they felt they were “being overlooked for leadership positions”.
It’s a common misconception that millennials focus on a businesses “buzz” says Deloitte, which rings true. Many employers think that a companies age and standing are a huge factor; the glittering skyscraper, global head count and power of a company just isn’t that impressive anymore. The focus is no longer on what the company is but more what are they doing? The millennials focus on ethics; when asked “what are the values a business should follow for long-term success” the two most popular answers were employee satisfaction/fair treatment and ethics/trust. The millennial is socially aware and politically active; they care about the issues which affect wider society and seek to work with ethical companies making a change.
What is clear from research is that there is a real gap between what workplaces are and what millennials want them to be, which is ultimately what they will become. This is a generation which shrugs off the old, thinks differently and cares about the long-term. Millennials certainly cannot be ignored and many business have implemented strategic plans for attracting them, recognising them as assets in the world to come.
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PWC: Millennials at work
Deloitte: 2016 Annual Millennial Survey