The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 are currently entering employment in huge numbers, and by 2020 they will account for over 50% of the workforce.
Over the next ten years they will transform the workplace; their career aspirations, long terms goals and needs, differ vastly from the baby boomers that have gone before and this means that successful businesses will need to adapt now or risk being left behind by the new generation of workers.
A new approach to work/life balance
A recent survey of Millennials by the PWC found that Millennials are attracted to far more than just pay. They put a real emphasis on a strong work/life balance as well as career progression. They are ambitious, yet optimistic, and do not believe that success must come at the expense of a good social life, travel and personal fulfilment. This will change the way workplaces address working hours and will-will no doubt increase the demands for flexible working solutions by employers.
Millennials will challenge how we address advancement
Their drive and ambition have a major impact on the way that they perceive suitable advancement; Millennials in the workplace value results and expect career advancement far quicker than older generations.
They do not expect their careers to progress because of seniority or length of service and believe that results are enough. Businesses will have to respond by offering faster advancement opportunities and reconsider their progression planning.
Millennials will change how we communicate
In a recent survey, 41% of Millennials that were questioned said they would rather communicate electronically than face-to-face or over the telephone.
Millennials will expect a workplace technology ecosystem that includes social networking, instant messaging, and video, and employers will need to adapt their IT policy to appeal more directly to millennials and allow them to engage and collaborate in ways that are natural to them.
Millennials will transform our approach to feedback
Unlike previous generations, Millennials in the workplace value frequent feedback and see it as an opportunity to develop - they want to know how they’re doing - and frequently so.
Businesses should address this need by scheduling regular sessions with staff and letting Millennials know how they are doing far more often than a traditional annual review.
They will change how we value and plan training
Millennials feel that lifelong learning is the key to their happiness and success in the workplace and they want to experience as much training a possible.
Companies that fail to engage with this need by offering development opportunities will lose staff more quickly than those who build mentoring programmes and other educational projects.
They also learn differently; enjoying bite-sized training, and experiential learning rather than traditional training lectures - companies will need to respond by giving them opportunities to learn in innovative ways or risk a higher rate of staff churn.
They will transform the way we recruit
Despite addressing all of these needs, studies show that it is inevitable that the rate of churn among millennials will be higher than among other generations.
Much of this is contributed to the fact that many Millennials feel that they are making real compromises in their roles already - 72% feel they made some sort of trade-off to get into their first role at work.
Another factor is their wanderlust as a generation; they will inevitably travel and have more a global approach to work than their predecessors. Anticipating these trends should be built into your plans to avoid staffing issues.