How Millennials Are Changing the Workplace

Millennials are very different from previous generations. This article covers 12 ways in which this is the case plus some benefits of being a forward-thinking employer.

A report by KPMG estimates that by the end of 2025, Millennials (those born between about 1980 and 2000) are projected to comprise 75 percent of the global workforce.  

This cohort thinks and behaves differently to previous generations.

Here are some of their key wants and needs:

1. Career guidance - they want mentoring and coaching.

2. Leadership - they need the “right” manager, to get better results from them.

3. “Why?” - Millennials need to know the reason for doing a task before they do it.

4. Change - they change roles more regularly, eager for the next challenge.

5. Rapid globalisation - means they actively seek out, diversity.

6. They seek purpose and ownership.

7. They are tech savvy and like to collaborate and socialise.

8. Flexibility is absolutely crucial for them.

9. They challenge the norm.

10. They prioritise company culture as being important and want to enjoy their working experience.

11. They want open and honest communication.

12. The social impact of actions matters greatly.

So why does this matter?

Adapting to these differences is a crucial element of leadership, and driving results, in an increasingly competitive business landscape.

A company’s people, its employees, are the lifeblood and an incredibly important asset. Having great quality staff, and crucially them feeling engaged is a competitive advantage.

The competition to firstly acquire, and then to retain top talent will continue to increase. By adapting to meet the needs of employees it will lead to higher levels of engagement, stemming from happier people, who perform better and are more loyal. In turn, the company culture improves.

The old methods of cracking the whip to drive performance and using money as a main motivator are increasingly outdated. Understanding individuals at a much deeper level is needed in order to achieve a multitude of benefits. These include:

- Increased employee happiness.

- Higher engagement levels from employees.

- Greater commitment and loyalty.

- A more open and cohesive company culture.

- Increased performance and productivity levels.

- Lower staff turnover.

- Lower recruitment and retraining costs.

- Increased operation stability (due to less disruptions).

- Improved profitability metrics creating enhanced returns for stakeholders.

- Become a ‘hot’ place to work as word spreads about how well employees are treated and that their needs are placed highly.

Now of course, there also needs to be some balance too. It cannot be a free for all whereby all wants and needs, even unreasonable ones or ones that adversely impact the business, are granted. But open communication leads to far greater levels of understanding both from the company’s and from the employee’s points of view. From this understanding can also come compromise. People ultimately want to feel like they’ve been truly heard and are cared for.

By using the 12 points shared earlier in this article as a framework to begin creating improved processes when it comes to people management and nurturing, it will lead to some great outcomes down the road.

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