Millennials. No other era has generated such polarizing opinions. They are often stereotyped as lazy, narcissistic and selfish but on the other hand, innovative, talented and dynamic. Most millennials cannot recall life, or much of it, before the internet, before video games or even social networking. They are children of the digital age, those who would much rather do their shopping online over ordering from a catalog, or even visit a store. It’s all about instant gratification, but in a very new way.
Until millennials hit the job market, most employers weren’t exactly heeding to the call of change. But in order to attract this new and innovative talent employers have had to take a step back and learn to understand this generation. What was it that millennials were looking for in an employer? What were they looking to get in return for their dedication and time? With that understanding, things in the corporate world and company culture started to change.
So, what changes are we talking about exactly?
More Freedom and Flexibility
The balance between life and work has always been a priority for millennial workers. The rigid and constant 9 to 5 schedule has been shown to be better suited for the generation X’ers. Millennials are looking for more autonomy over where they work and when. This means flexible schedule options and the ability to work remotely. An estimated 3 million Americans work from home and that number is expected to increase 63% over the next 5 years.
This doesn’t mean that every company has to have an employee lounge with video games and a Foosball table or have beer-thirty every day. Having meaningful perks, such as healthy snack and beverage options is a step in the right direction. Studies do show that millennials are bigger snackers than the generation X’ers.
Honesty, truth, transparency. That’s what millennials are looking for in their employers and that builds trust. They want to know what is going on behind closed doors in those board meetings and see how information is being communicated and how knowledge is being shared. They want to see inside of the company’s infrastructure to know that they are at a place they feel confident working for.
New Meaning To “Face-Time”
Because Millennials have utilized technology for nearly their entire lives, it’s no wonder why 41% of them prefer to use digital means with respect to communication. Text and email options are mostly preferred over the more traditional face to face meets or even phone calls.
Yanking The Annual Reviews
Yes, the trend has been set and annual reviews are going out the window. Millennials value frequent feedback so rehashing old and in most cases obsolete data can most definitely be a time-waster for both employer and employee. And it doesn’t do much good to benefit the now. The new check-in approach encourages real-time feedback and acknowledgments of change in responsibilities with quicker turnaround times. Did you know that in 2013, Adobe abolished their annual performance reviews and saved precious hours of management’s time? Over 80,000 hours a year to be exact.
Millennials want their work to have a purpose and when they consider applying for a job. They want to know what it is the company stands for from start to finish and just what kind of impact it is that they make both socially and economically.
However you view this hyper-connected, tech-savvy generation, they are a force to be reckoned with. As they have been integrated into the workforce their influence has and will continue to change the way we do business. In 2015 millennials have become the majority of the workforce and it is predicted that by 2030 they will make up 75% or more of it, so there are definitely more change to come.