What millennials want from employers? Everything!
Millennials account for 34 percent of New Zealand’s labour force and by 2020 we will be the majority. We’re told we’re demanding, always wanting flexibility, purpose and fulfilment at work. So how is this impacting employment models?
Being a millennial means I have a perspective on work which may be perceived as demanding or entitled, but really, I’m ready to work as hard as anyone else! I just have an expectation that work will both provide me with remuneration and align to my values or lifestyle.
There are many influences on the way we think when it comes to our working lives – and that will impact on the way you hire.
1. Social Media
Millennials are well connected.
We’re across a multitude of platforms both socially and educationally and we’re reminded daily of the many opportunities out there – not only in the local area, but in the wider world.
In addition to the giant network of Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections which will help us to find our next role, we are also being reminded of the flexible working arrangements our friends have the luck to know – as this is all documented nicely on their Instagram pages #4dayworkweek #worklifebalance.
These connections, and the real-time reminder of the other places we could be working means our generation are more likely to jump ship, which ultimately affects our expected tenure with each employer.
Although employers can harness social media to be the organisation we choose jump ship to, it’s likely to be inevitable that staff turnover will increase over time, as our generation comes to be the majority workforce.
That means employers will need to be placing more focus on succession planning than ever before, and future planning within organisations can potentially no longer occur organically but needs to be well thought out by management teams.
Millennials are not afraid to challenge company ethics and purpose, more so than any other generation which has come before.
We’re slowly becoming more aware of our responsibility to do good in the world and we are not afraid to come up against the status quo. This is great for employers who also want to do better but can create issues where employers are running historic processes and systems and are resistant to change.
Employers need to make a choice – be a millennial employer of choice (and take in our feedback and recommendations) or stick to your ways. That may work for you in the interim but remember that millennials are not only going to be your majority workforce in the future but also an increasing proportion of your customer base.
3. Less is more
Millennials are happier with less, and are often open to earning less for a better lifestyle.
If you can’t offer an increase in salary, you can always try to offer an increase in flexible working arrangements.
Some will want to work longer days less often, some would like to work from home. Some would love to start early and miss the afternoon traffic or go home and walk their new puppy in the middle of the day.
Be open to what your staff want, and if you can’t accommodate exactly to what they’re asking – meet them in the middle!
This will be something that we’ll value far more than a wage increase – after all, we’ll soon realise it won’t make much of a difference because a fair chunk of the extra money will end up as extra tax.
I now work a four-day week and my employer is supportive of a small business I run on the side. It’s awesome!
With the above in mind, the changes you will see to employment models as millennials come through to become your majority workforce shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
They’re aligned to the general shift of change technology has been driving in the modern workplace already – the main difference being they are now influencing employee’s priorities.
If you can focus on:
- Succession and future planning
- Being open to feedback and change
- Allowing for flexibility in working arrangements
You’ll be able to better adapt to changing employment models as the generation shifts and remain ahead of the curve when employing the next generation’s best and brightest.