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 workplace model?

According to Forbes, Millennials currently make up 50% of the workforce and projected to be 75% by 2025.  And, they’re no longer settling for the traditional workplace.  But, who can blame them?  The trend is clear, workers are now retiring later and spending longer hours on the job.  If this is indeed the future, then there better be some benefits now if the Golden Years are a thing of the past.  Therefore, it’s important to make sure your company is headed in the right direction to attract, engage and secure this innovative generation.  Companies actually have a lot to gain from this new workforce and changes in employee relations will inevitably benefit everything from their brand, to their clients and consumers.  We’ve highlighted a few key areas where companies could make some positive moves:

Create a better work space/environment.

According to research (and despite the bad rep), Millennials are actually workaholics!  Overall, millennials are more likely to be the “work martyr” in order 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 and hanging around the office.  So, investing in collaborative and inclusive workspaces to make employees feel valued and productive can make for a better work environment.

Be flexible.

Let’s be honest, it can be a bit miserable to be stuck inside an office from 9am-5pm every weekday.  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 schedule to be productive is not that difficult.  Allow for “work from home” or “work remotely” policies to get work done independently.  Our current state of technological dependence means that millennials are never truly off-line and virtually always available anyways.  Companies can build on this and trust their employees to manage a responsible, productive schedule that bends slightly more to their lifestyle.

Allow for lifestyle incorporation.

Unfortunately, because they are always “on,” millennials tend to 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 even forgo higher salary and a better job title for a more flexible schedule in accordance with their responsibilities in and out of the office.  Despite this clear trend for a better work-life balance, only 53% of workers say that their employer values work-life balance (inc.com).  Therefore, employers need to be aware of this trend if they want to be able attract the best employees from this group.

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

Provide smarter perks.

Millennials also value life-experiences over a lifetime of 9-5.  Providing employees with perks, benefits and opportunities that reflect that will show through in your company culture and help retain employees.  We’re not just talking about free stuff and coffee lounge type of perks.  Younger employees are looking for the real deal:  impactful rewards, health and wellness benefits, student loan repayment and philanthropic initiatives.  Companies should be looking into an holistic perks approach that is more in line with this generation’s values.

Foster 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 CSR 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).  Further, according to Harvard Business Review, companies that uphold good CSR practices have lower turnover and less difficulty hiring new employees.  A win-win for employers, employees and brand.  And, we’re not just talking about a superficial sense of social responsibility, employees are looking for true accountability and impactful initiatives that span from leadership down to employees.  In turn, providing ample opportunities for employees to engage in volunteering, charity challenges and philanthropy builds on company culture and brand.

The takeaway is clear: 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.  In fact, it’s simply good business, particularly in a time where company culture and brand highly influence consumers and clients alike.  For some more ideas on CSR and social impact initiatives check out our employee engagement and charity campaigns.

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