Millennials and the Workforce Revolution: Is Your Company Ready?

By Inspiration, Social Impact

It's no secret that Millennials are quickly becoming powerhouses within the workforce and workplace - changing the way we look at workplace environment, company accountability and lifestyle careers.  The question is:  Is your company prepared to attract and retain these individuals within this new model?

According to Forbes, Millennials currently make up 50% of the workforce and will be 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they're no longer settling for the traditional workplace.  And who can blame them?  Workers are reportedly retiring later, spending more time on the job; and if this is the future, then there better be some benefits now if the Golden Years are a thing of the past.  Making sure your company is headed in the right direction to attract, engage and secure this innovative generation will benefit everything from your brand, to your clients/consumers, to your employees.  Here are a few key areas to make sure your company is on the right track:

Give them a better work space/environment.  According to research (and despite the bad rep), Millennials are actually workaholics.  Millennials are more likely to be the "work martyr" to get the job done than older workers, as well as more likely to forfeit unused vacation time when compared to older workers (HBR.org).  They are putting in the time, so investing in collaborative and inclusive workspace to make employees feel valued and able to work independently and also with a team is necessary.

Be flexible.  Being stuck inside from 9am-5pm every weekday is miserable.  We've all been there - we're done with our work/project and we're left staring the time down on the clock until 5pm.  Providing employees with a trusting and flexible environment to be productive is not that difficult.  Allow for "work from home" or "work remotely" policies to get work done independently.  The reality is, with technology, Millennials are never truly off-line and virtually always available, building on that only makes sense.

92.1% of Millennials believe that working for an environmentally and socially responsible company is important (morningfuture.com).

Allow for lifestyle incorporation.  Because they are always "on," Millennials have a difficult time balancing work, family and personal responsibilities.   Perhaps because of that, they value work-life balance more than all other job characteristics, according to the Deloitte Millennial study.  They'll forgo higher salary and better job title for a more flexible schedule in accordance with their responsibilities in and out of the office.  Despite the desire for a better work-life balance, only 53% of workers say their employer values work-life balance (inc.com).  Employers need to be aware of this trend if they want to be able attract the best employees from this group.

Provide smarter perks.  Millennials also value life-experiences over a lifetime of 9-5, so providing employees with perks, benefits and opportunities that reflect that will show through in your company culture and help retain employees.  It's also not about free stuff and coffee lounges - it's impactful rewards, student loan repayment and philanthropic initiatives.

Give them a better learning experience.  Millennials are tech savvy and always looking to learn new skills.  Providing a dynamic and innovative work place that offers diverse learning experiences through mentorships, peer to peer learning, and formal training will help retain employees and foster individual growth.   Show your employees that you are invested them - provide good feedback, recognize individual and team accomplishments, and always offer new learning opportunities.

Include social impact.  Corporate social responsibility is important to Millennials and not just a little bit.  CSR is actually becoming a driving force behind job searches.  92.1% of Millennials believe that working for an environmentally and socially responsible company is important (morningfuture.com) and according to Harvard Business Review, companies that uphold CSR have lower turnover and less difficulty hiring new employees.  A win-win for employers, employees and brand.  We're also not just talking about a feigned sense of social responsibility, employees are looking for true accountability and impactful initiatives that span from leadership down to employees.  Therefore, providing ample opportunities for employees to engage in volunteering, charity challenges and philanthropy builds on company culture and brand.

The workforce revolution has arrived and it's a mindful, tech savvy, experience-loving force.  Companies need to be sure they can engage and cultivate this force in their employees.  For some ideas on CSR and social impact initiatives check out our employee engagement and charity campaigns.

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