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The Rise of the Millennials: Is your business ready?

almost 6 years ago by Clare Cazaly

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The Rise of the Millennials: Is your business ready?

Who are the Millennials?

They are people born since 1980 who share views which differ from other generations such as; being as ease with technological change and, the desire to achieve work-life balance, and work for an ethical company. They are also merging with the connect, communicate, and change generation, born after 1990, this generation will soon enter the workforce, bringing about change due to their upbringing in a digital world

How will this affect the workplace?

Working expectations

Millennials will have different needs to previous generations; they have short attention spans, want instant feedback, and want to enhance their skills. They are experiencing the rise in education costs so will seek to gain experience from the workplace instead of burdening the debt of education.

This will result in companies shifting their focus e.g. the psychological contact as will move from organisations having specific roles, job security, and basic training to offering job enlargement, employability, and lateral career development

Flexible working

According to a study by PWC, Millennials are looking for more flexibility when it comes to work and due to their ease with technological change and desire for flexibility it is argued that they will drive the change to a virtual organisation. However, they will still seek a collaborative environment where they can interact with their colleagues. Therefore, businesses may move to focus on internal functional flexibility opposed to flexible working, so this generation can gain job enrichment.

Work–life balance initiatives

Millennials seek a better work-life balance than those of earlier generations, but this mentality may not mean that they want to work less hours but be a direct result of these generations being constantly connected to work through increased telecommunications. Therefore, we could see more put in place by companies to ensure that these generations “switch off” and can feel at home at work.

Employer branding

Employer Branding is not a new concept as it derived from the traditional product branding that we have seen as consumers. The message communicated in the employer brand will change as it will need to incorporate aspects that these generations seek e.g. work-life balance, technology, and skills enhancement. The use of social media and technology will grow in attracting candidates and we will see that employees will be treated more like consumers and marketed to on a 24/7 basis.

Terms and Conditions

We could also see that that terms and conditions will change over time to aid the attraction and retention of Millennials. Whereas previous generations have had different focuses in terms of home ownership, the newer generations have been brought up in the recession and experienced the growth of student debt so will seek different benefits

These may be benefits such as;

•            Help to pay off student debt

•            Funding for further education and time off to study

•            Electronic discounts

•            Travel Discounts

•            Holiday buy schemes

Managing diversity

The new generations have a strong intolerance of intolerance of minority groups so therefore businesses will need to ensure that they are attracting and recruiting a diverse range of people and treating everyone fairly.

Aside from gender and race considerations when it comes to managing diversity, organisations would also need to be aware of how to effectively manage the different generations within their business.

The different generations in the workplace and their expectations

As we can see from the image below the generations seek out different things from life and work so would therefore behave and be motivated differently. 

Business would need to evolve to appeal to these groups and educate them about the different generations so that they can work cohesively.

Ethical Working Practices

The Millennials have been brought up in a different world where there is the need to make an impact in the world. Due to the blur between work and life because of being constantly ‘connected’ they may seek to achieve this in their work life.

The changes in the needs of these generations will see the need for companies to build in ethical criteria into person specifications and employee selection decisions. This will need to be echoed through employee inductions, training, written policies, and disciplinary procedures.