Millennials, a force to reckon with in the workplace

Font Size

MILLENNIALS have been transforming the workplace in profound ways. Their capacity to absorb fresh ideas and ability to embrace innovations offer new opportunities for businesses to thrive in today’s era. Thus, other than securing the company’s financial stability, businesses must adjust to this generation to attract and retain talent.

According to a KPMG report titled “Meet the Millennials,” published in June of 2017, millennials are characterized as curious, tech-savvy and job-hoppers. They seek diversity in the workplace and work-life balance, and are not afraid to ask questions and challenge the system.

“As the name indicates, millennials grew up during the Millennium period, a time of rapid change. Naturally events that took place during this period have shaped them, giving them a unique set of priorities and expectations that differ from previous generations,” the report said.

At present, millennials account for over a quarter of the global population. Most of them will be out of school and will become part of the work force by 2020. Experts predict that by this year, millennials will make up the largest portion of the global work force at 50%.

Given this number, it is certain that millennials will have a critical role in the future of businesses. PwC said in a study titled “Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace” that millennials will shape the world of work. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st-century workplace.

“But although they will soon outnumber their Generation X predecessors, they remain in short supply, particularly in parts of the world where birth rates have been lower. They will also be more valuable — this generation will work to support a significantly larger older generations as life expectancy increases,” PwC said.

“It’s clear that millennials will be a powerful generation of workers and that those with the right skills will be in high demand. They may be able to command not only creative reward packages by today’s standards, but also influence the way they work and where and how they operate in the workplace. They may also represent one of the biggest challenges that many organizations will face,” the firm added.

Given that millennials are one of the most studied generations, the factors that influence their decision of whether to join a certain team or not are uncovered. Some of these, which were identified in the 2017 KPMG report, include culture, working experience, open and honest communication, and flexibility. It is crucial for the companies to recognize these things and know how to properly address them so they can attract millennials and gain a competitive edge.

As the report said, millennials prioritize the culture of a company; — how the employer portrays the overall experience of working for them is a key differentiator when they decide which positions to apply for.

“Companies need to focus on cultivating the working conditions that foster creativity and morale. Quick wins like introducing a pool table in the office, early finish Fridays or allocating time for them to pursue personal hobbies during the working day would do the trick,” the report said.

When it comes to working experience, companies need to focus their efforts on ensuring that millennials are enjoying every minute of their work.

As the KMPG report explained, millennials are the first generation to use the word “fun” to describe their dream job. They really embody the sentiment that life is too short to be stuck in a dead-end job.

Moreover, millennials are brutally honest with one other, and they expect the same from their employer. The report said that millennials want to feel that their opinion matters, and that their insights are contributing to a bigger picture that allows the company to develop.

In this case, companies need to adopt a transparent communication policy. Hosting a weekly drop-in session with the leadership team, where even the most junior staff can pose questions to the C-suite executives, can be a good idea.

Finally, this generation wants flexibility at work — they have the option to control their own working hours and location. In a survey conducted by KPMG across a broad millennial audience, work-life balance was one of the top rated factors when looking for a job.

Attracting millennials is just the first step. Corporations also need to have them engaged. As the KPMG explained in its report, satisfied employees are more invested in their company’s success and have a higher level of commitment and loyalty. They are also more productive and innovative because of their passion and interest in their jobs.