There is considerable research being done about how millennials are changing the workplace. From Baby Boomers, to Gen X, and Gen Y, we have finally arrived at a stage when Millennials will take over commerce and business. The Millennials have grown in a post colonization, post-Independence, post-digital revolution. Many of them were born with smartphones at their disposal. Since technology touches every aspect of life, it has also shaped the thought and opinion of the Millennials. Their views are going to bring about a tectonic shift in workplace culture, business, trade, and commerce.
New business managers and companies need to understand how the Millennials work and how they are changing the workplace. Many surveys have been done to assess the needs and drivers of the millennials. These surveys have thrown light on some important traits of the Millennials that will affect the way workplaces will function:
1. Millennials Don’t Believe in Sticking Around Their Company for Long.
Unlike the previous generations, millennials switch jobs faster than before. A recent study has shown that the average millennial changes jobs 4 times within the first 10 years. Naturally, the cost of training shoots up, and employers are unable to justify the ROI, if the employees leave the company within just a few years. This absence of loyalty represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of Millennials.
What can companies do to survive the millennials’ disinterest? Employers can still benefit greatly if they provide their millennial employees the necessary training that meets the needs of your new workforce and benefits your business. Instead of employers thinking of millennials as a fickle minded workforce, they need to engage their varied interests, social needs, and their sense of identity with the organization.
As far as leadership roles are concerned, millennials fully appreciate that leadership skills are important to business. They are keen learners, ever willing to employ their own talents to achieve results. However, their leadership style involves more of creative out of the box ideas, without rigid structures and frameworks. They operate in a laissez-faire style, leaving things to evolve in due course of time.
2. Millennials Require Instantaneous Feedback on Communication.
Email has almost gone extinct in the millennial operated business world. Many millennial employees prefer to communicate in person or by texting. Communication has become stunted because of the shorter attention span. Millennials prefer to get work done quickly. Formalities are out. In a technologically suave world, millennials prefer to function primarily on mobile platforms. Pre-interview questionnaires have taken the online or video format.
The millennials use their smartphones for a variety of functions. Phones aren’t used to make phone calls anymore. This generation grew up with the introduction of instant messaging. Data is consumed instantaneously. Also, texting allows you the flexibility to think over your words. They’re instant and mobile, which means they can be read and exchanged at almost any time. Text along with emoji’s, gifs, image and video functionalities offer a wider berth, than simply talking.
3. For Millennials, Work-Life Integration is the Way of Life
Today, almost all businesses are expected to be connected and flexible. The rigid walls of time have melted to give way to flexi-time work schedules. This allows constant connectivity through email and social on mobile devices. Nowadays, organizations want employees to check-in, even when outside of the office.
The modern workplace is shifting away from the typical, corporate, 9 to 5 office. As millennials become the largest group in the workforce, they embrace technology and the benefits of remote work, including commuting less and having better work-life balance. The archaic idea that everyone must be in the same office to get work done is on its way out. This gives companies more leeway to hire and retain top talent, and stimulate employees in productive and creative environments. It is not uncommon to see the millennial generation working out of cafes, vacation hideouts, or even by the beach. Companies should be promoting this flexibility to employees and future hires as a perk, not an inconvenience, by making that added effort worth their time. With some give and take on both sides, and incentive and benefit programs, the millennial worker can bring in more productivity and creativity that will bring rich benefits to their employers.
4. Millennials Seek Transparency and Integrity From Their Employers
Transparency is one of the top four qualities that millennials look for in leaders. This generation is able to smell phony from a mile away. They have had it with over the top politicians and business leaders, who don’t keep promises and are more concerned about personal gain than serving others. The Millennial generation wants leaders with integrity. They expect transparency in what a company does. The chain of command does not have to be so convoluted or impenetrable, as everyone right from the top level management to the last employee in the chain can connect with each other on social platforms. This gives birth to a complex reporting structure, where flat and layered organization structure can co-exist.
5. Instant Gratification Is a Must.
For the millennials, it’s instant everything! Instant information, instant communication, instant work, and instant entertainment. They grew up in an era options were infinite, but time was a precious commodity. This is a generation that can consume information rapidly. They can toggle between five gadgets, and multitask using high speed communication.
With information overload, the millennials have an attention span of 8 seconds or less. They come across as a distracted, impatient, and impulsive generation. With endless information at their fingertips, they’re experts at swiftly sorting, assessing, and filtering enormous amounts of content. Millennial expectations for rewards and instant gratification are due to their emphasis on connectedness. A like, share, tweet, or comment are the new currency.
Companies that adopt technology to support and empower this fast-paced generation will reap dividends in improved productivity, increased engagement, and reduced costs. The key is to give these young employees what they seek most in all areas of their lives: convenience.