In the past few years, there has been much talk in the employee development arena about how to foster a greater sense of commitment among Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995 and currently under 33 years of age). Will it will be necessary to transform the core dynamics of the workplace, or will they learn to fit in to the current world of business?
An exhaustive study conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the University of Southern California and the London Business School, captured the
various forces at play that are influencing the experience of Millennial or “Generation
Y” employees, through over 40,000 responses from Millennials and non-Millennials.
These include: workplace culture, communication and work styles, compensation and career structure, career development and opportunities and work/life balance. The study revealed that work/life balance is one of the most significant drivers of employee retention and a primary reason this generation of employees may choose a non- traditional professional career track. According to the study authors, “Just as notable as the influencing forces, are the widespread similarities between Millennial employees and their non-Millennial counterparts, all of whom aspire to a new workplace paradigm that places a higher priority on work/life balance and workplace flexibility. The research shatters commonly held myths about Millennials in the workplace, uncovering attitudes and behavior that largely mirror those of their more senior colleagues. The findings both confirm and dispel stereotypes about Millennials and provide compelling guidance as to how organizations must adapt their companies to fit the demands of both Millennial and non-Millennial employees.”
Are you surprised? Essentially, Millenials are different in some ways, as we have always suspected, but the other generations in the workforce are adapting some of the same priorities as the Millennials, which makes it even more imperative that leaders learn what those priorities are, and how to foster them in their own organizations.
1. What Makes Millennials Stay?
Millennials count on being supported and appreciated more than their predecessors in the workplace. Fostering a team atmosphere and giving them flexibility in where and how they work also will give have a greater expectation to be supported and appreciated in return for their contributions, and to be part of a cohesive team. Flexibility in where they work and how much they work also will boost retention and productivity. What happened to prioritizing pay level and job title? Those are non-Millennial attributes.
2. Throw Stereotypes Out the Window
Despite their reputation, Millennials do care deeply about their jobs. They are committed and hard working. Moreover, they have grown up not expecting their organizations to meet all of their needs, including job security. They live with a freelancer mentality, which was borne out of necessity. Since they joined the workforce, jobs have become unstable, and they have learned to always be on the lookout for what is coming next. Think of it as a necessary career survival mode.
3. Millennials vs. Excessive Work Demands
While Millennials are generally focused and committed to their work, the world that they have grown up in has shown them that only chumps bend over backwards with excessive demands and professional stress. Non-Millennial workers are more likely to embrace sacrifice for the promise of future rewards. Promises of future possible compensation seems doubtful to them, so rewards and incentives should be short-term and practical, so they can continue to foster the critical work/life balance that the require, in order to have the most impact, the highest level of personal effectiveness, and increased professional presence in the workplace.
Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.