Millennials: Shaping the future of the workplace

Millennials now make up a third of the workforce. So, what should that mean for businesses looking to hire and retain these younger employees?

It seems that every generation has concerns about the generations that follow. And just because a generation is different than the one prior, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean worse. Millennials, in particular, have been on the receiving end of attacks on their work ethic, often referred to as spoiled or lazy. However, the reality is that Millennials are hardworking. So, what do companies need to do to capitalize on this productive generation entering the workforce? They will need to understand exactly what Millennials are looking for in employment.

Communication and Investment in their future

Millennials appreciate meaningful and detailed communication because they have grown up in a world with immediate access to information and answers. Waiting for year-end reviews might not work as well as providing constant feedback on what they are doing well and what they need to work on, so they can make corrections sooner. They also want to know why they are doing things. Employers should embrace the whys and realize that these young workers will be more productive if they understand the reasons behind the directions. They also may have their own ideas to share and will be more engaged if their input is considered. Use their energy.

Businesses can also take advantage of Millennials’ willingness to learn; diversify their skillsets by ensuring that they have plenty of opportunities available for them to learn and continue to learn as they grow with the company. Don’t just train, mentor. These workers will be more willing to stay if they feel empowered in their jobs.

Work Life Balance and Fair Compensation

Millennials are changing the game. They are the first generation to understand the proper role of work in life as they pave the way for the entire work force to do their jobs remotely and flexibly; to shape the jobs in ways that fit with their daily lives. They know that work can be done anywhere and anytime and are more progressive than past generations in that they are not afraid to ask for what they want in job interviews. Some are even willing to sacrifice financial reward for flexibility. That is not to say that they do not want to be fairly compensated. Millennials face increased economic hardships due to rising healthcare and housing costs and crippling student debt, so college educated prospects still view money as a top priority when choosing an employer. Research has also shown that they are financially conservative. Most prefer financial guarantees over riskier ventures and appreciate having a pool of benefits to choose from.

If companies want to attract the most talented young workers, they will need to learn from them. Because isn’t the key to success and moving forward having the ability to change with the times? And this generation just might be the one holding the key.

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