How Millennials Revolutionized the Traditional Workplace
Have you ever wondered why you should hire Millennials?
They will change your workplace in ways you haven’t assumed.
How? Well the first thought that comes to people’s mind is: technology! Yes; Millennials are tech-savvy, and they constantly keep pace with the evolving technology. They know how to use all kinds of apps and outsource tasks to software at the right moment. If you challenge them with a tight schedule, they will use an app to organize their time. They will partner with a great freelancer to outsource part of the work. They will deliver perfect presentations that go beyond average PowerPoint slides. You get the picture, right?
However, this generation is aware that technology is only an asset that cannot replace humans. According to the Dell & Intel Future Workforce Study Global Report, 62% of global employees agree that their job could be made easier with the help of artificial intelligence. 44% of employees don’t think that their workplace is smart enough, and 57% expect to be working in a smart office within the next five years. This generation accepts AI and machine learning without any fear; they are simply aware that technology is an asset that turns them into better performers. In fact, Millennials have “humanized” the workspace in many different ways.
These people are not undisciplined, shallow, and lazy. On the contrary – they are willing to succeed, but they also want their work to contribute to society. Their motivation and work ethics are not limited to money. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 showed that this generation pushes business leaders to be proactive about making a positive social impact. And that’s the biggest role they play. They challenge businesses to be better not in a money-making way, but in the true meaning of the term.
That got your interest, right?
Let’s explore how exactly Millennials revolutionized the traditional workplace.
1. They Bring More Knowledge
When you hire a Millennial, you’re not necessarily hiring an advanced expert. Clearly, there are exceptions. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that this is the most educated generation, ever!
Pew Research Center published the results of research named “How Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago.” Let’s just compare: the women of the Silent Generation (1965) had a college completion rate of only 9%. Millennial women are 36% likely to have at least a BA degree at the same age. In general, 29% Millennials hold at least a Bachelor’s degree.
Why is this important for an employer? Education gives Millennials a unique professional value. Given the fact that many more women hold degrees than ever before, this generation also gives a greater depth to the talent pool. Of course their success doesn’t only depend on education, but this factor certainly adds to their appeal as workers. They bring fresh knowledge into the working environment.
2. Millennials Value Flexibility
Needless to say, Millennials are still attracted by good pay. However, their engagement in the workforce is not all about the money. They are also after positive cultures, based on the principles of flexibility and diversity.
The same Deloitte Survey we mentioned above shows that inclusion and flexibility among the main factors that keep Millennials happy on the workplace. That’s exactly why they are so attracted to the gig economy, as an alternative to the traditional office environment.
So if you want to keep Millennials engaged, you’ll have to create a flexible environment that inspires them to get creative. Netflix, Evernote, and LinkedIn, for example, have a policy for unlimited vacations. The workers can get paid time off whenever they need it. Throughout its history, Google has employed more freelancers than full-time workers. Clearly, that strategy works! It takes a lot of planning and strategizing, but almost any business can introduce more flexibility for the workers.
3. Millennials Don’t Want Managers; They Want Mentors
Layla Millette, career advisor at CareersBooster, explains that this is the greatest change that Millennials bring into the workforce: “They don’t want the stiff manager who keep giving instructions,” – she says. “Millennials want a mentor, who will teach them how to get better at what they do. They are very inspired to learn and they want to create bonds with their mentors. If you’re able to provide such mentorship, Millennials will be the most effective workers in your office.”
It’s about time for businesses to redefine their management strategies. These workers don’t want to be managed; they want mentorship and flexible guidance above all.
Caterpillar, for example, offers mentorship program that allows entry-level workers to move between departments over the course of two or three years. Through this program, the employees gain practical lessons and they develop valuable connections with senior employees.
There still is traditional hierarchy in big companies. Still, Millennials inspire managers to adopt a more “human” approach in their behavior towards new employees.
4. Businesses Create More Opportunities for Growth within the Organization
You probably knew that Millennials often quit their jobs even when they provide great satisfaction. According to the US Labor Department, the workers who switch jobs have more potential for salary raises when compared to the workers who stay in the same position. They may be perfectly happy with the organizational culture and the job they are doing, but they will still leave. The biggest reason for that is that they are after better opportunities.
The workers of this generation are not after job stability. They don’t want boring lives with jobs that offer security until retirement. They want to be challenged and they absolutely need opportunities for growth.
This doesn’t mean they are not loyal to their organizations. If the business offers growth opportunities within, they are more than happy to stay, as long as you don’t keep them on the same level for years. If they don’t move up, they will move out!
This attitude of Millennials forces companies to offer better opportunities for career mobility. If you want to keep a great Millennial worker, you’ll have to try hard. And that’s a good thing for your organization!
Millennials Bring Fresh Energy to the Workplace
Millennials, as a generation, are driving all industries forward. We just have to hire the right ones! Needless to say, a job candidate is not perfect solely because they belong to this generation. Being a Millennial is an advantage, but you still need a worker who is qualified enough for the particular position.
Millennials have the power to make your workplace more vibrant. They inspire organizations to become more socially responsible, open to change, flexible, and aimed towards growth. That’s a good thing and there’s no doubt about it!
About the author:
Eva Wislow is a career coach and HR manager from Pittsburgh. She is focusing on helping people break down their limits, find a dream job and achieve life and career success. Eva maintains a strong interest in bringing the digital revolution into human resources. She finds her inspiration in writing and peace of mind through yoga. Follow Eva on Twitter.