Millennials - Welcome to the Modern Workforce

16 October 2017 |
by Gemma Dickinson

Millennials are growing up in a world which is immensely different from their parents and grandparents and as a result, they think and act differently. This generation makes up around 13.8 million people in the UK according to The Guardian and therefore comprise a large part of the workforce. It is paramount for businesses to evolve to accommodate the requirements of this modern workforce, to attract loyal and talented employees.

Recognised for being technologically savvy, millennials are available 24/7. With instant access to new roles and positions around the world, it is imperative that businesses are attractive, and must especially consider flexible hours to promote a good work-life balance. Doing so, helps the business to be seen as one which values and cares for its employees.

Millennials are not afraid to move on from one job to the next, with the average time spent within one role being 3-4 years.CBRE Limited (2017) surveyed 13,000 millennials in a global survey and found that whilst 72% consider the salary as the most important factor, it is not the only key contributor. 56% like to have a strong work-life balance by keeping work and home life separate. 74% are willing to re-train to learn new skills which will enable them to remain employable.

Gone are the days of stuffy offices, millennials want to work for a company which offers a conductive working environment. Complete with complimentary refreshments and co-working spaces, along with flexible hours and the option of working from home being high on the list of requirements. Maintaining this form of environment may seem excessive, however this can engage employees, which in turn will help maintain a good level of retention and enhance employee productivity.

Many millennials want an opportunity for progression within a business and prefer to be recognised within the workplace for promotions, therefore avoiding formalities. As well as training and development opportunities to constantly improve their skills, it is essential to provide opportunities to develop their abilities and maintain a high level of motivation amongst the workforce.

Millennials want to make a positive difference in the world and value the contribution which they make within their communities. Therefore, this must also be reflected by the company by which they are employed. It is key for their employee to express their contribution to the environment and strong corporate values. Many millennials will compare their own values with the ones of the employer. Image is everything and if the image of their employer can be considered unappealing, millennials may not want to be associated with this business.

Social media plays a predominant role within the day to day life of a millennial, as this enables them to quickly communicate with their age group, whether this be work colleagues or friends. Therefore, a large proportion do not adhere to social media policies within the work place and have added their managers and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter. They are also less likely to reject to work at a company if social media access is excluded.

Member/employee benefit scheme websites have become increasing popular with more millennials preferring to spend disposable income on experiences, as opposed to tangible items. Therefore, many millennials are attracted to businesses which use such sites to provide a range of complimentary employee benefits (click here for our market research on employee benefits).

It is now becoming ‘the norm’ for many millennials to have started their own business as well as maintaining current employment. Forbes (2017) outlined millennials have launched twice as many businesses when compared to previous generations, with an average age of 27 being the time to start a new business. According to CBRE Limited (2017) 41% of UK millennials are still living at home, with 80% suggesting that wages were not upkeeping with current property prices and therefore are using this as a base for their own business.

Millennials want to have everything now, maybe overly ambitious, and this is not just because they want everything handed to them on a plate, but the modern way of working is on the rise. It is key to understand what millennials expect from their employer to ensure positive employee engagement. It is paramount to set targets and outline the business expectations. Constant constructive feedback is essential, to benefit both the employee to help them to recognise how they can improve, but also for the business by establishing positive contributions and a high level of productivity, ensure there is an effective appraisal process in place. Many may believe, with millennials accounting for a substantial number of the workforce ignoring these requirements would be at your peril.

Millennials are ambitious, talented and dynamic and with a high level not wanting to stay within one job for too long, as a result, it is paramount for employers to understand what makes millennials tick and how to make their workplace stand out from the crowd.

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