There’s a new group of leaders in town. They’re ambitious. They’re inventive. They’re brave. They made up a quarter of the US population in 2017 alone, and nearly half of the US workforce. The Millennial generation is the biggest in US history, and they’re not going anywhere.
And for many organisations, this group of people represents a new era of talent; talent that is tech-savvy and innovative, redefining the workplace as we know it.
So, why should you care?
In the last 5 years, 87% of millennial workers took on management roles, compared with 38% of GenX and 19% of Baby Boomers (EY), yielding approximately $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. Coupled to this, more than 50% of millennials have either already, or have express a desire to, start their own business. That means serious competition for you.
Your business is in the throws of a generational revolution, and if you aren’t geared up to support a new generation of free-thinking, flexible innovators with developed technological and economic maturity, then you may be criticised for having your head buried deeply in the sand.
And if you’re not embracing, well, then you’re competing – with your competitor who is busy gearing themselves up for attracting exciting new talent that will grow and expand their business.
Forget the 9-5
In a far more connected world, the traditional working hours pattern is anything but appealing to a generation of innovative creatives who are used to getting what they want, when they need it. Expecting a free-thinker to be limited to certain hours of the day is almost an oxymoron in concept. Flexibility within the workplace topped the list of workplace requirements in a survey conducted by PwC, where 95% of those that took part, credited a solid work-life balance as being very important to them. And where traditional top-down strategies dictated when and how something needed to get done, the millennial generation prefer a self-prescribed work structure allowing for more flexibility like the ability to work from home or attend a lunchtime gym session.
On average, and according to a study conducted by KPMG, millennials stay within a given role for a maximum of three years. And that’s hardly surprising with the degree of networking, peer-to-peer comparison and online job search possibilities that are available today. Highly ambitious, they’re always on the lookout for the next exciting challenge. Great for them, but challenging for you as a business owner looking to attract and retain talent. Most organisations gearing up for new talent are focussing on restructuring their training and development offering. In a similar study conducted by Deloitte in 2016, “two-thirds of millennials expect to have left their current employers by 2020. But the survey also points to a clear reason: Of the workers who want to leave their jobs within the next two years, more than 70% cite a lack of leadership development“.
Reinvent the Appraisal
Don’t wait for the annual employee appraisal to find obtain critical feedback and insight from your millennial teams. Millennials act fast. Their ambition means that they are not scared of voicing an opinion, or offering insight on things like improving services, new product ideas, even strategy direction. Take a leaf out of IBM’s book where they rolled out a new system called Checkpoint which allows employees to set short-term goals that are anchored by quarterly check-ins – a far more responsive and engaging development channel than waiting for a 6-month session.
Check your Culture
In a KPMG published report on Millennial employment culture, they wrote: Culture is key when millennials are scanning the marketplace for their next job. How the employer portrays the overall experience of working for them is a key differentiator when they decide which positions to apply for.”
Organisations that are not focussing on cultivating working conditions that foster creativity and morale will quickly fall behind in the search for the best talent. Introducing new cultural conditions like early-finish Fridays, or allocating time to pursue personal hobbies during the working day may just be a couple of ideas to get you started.
Social Impact is Important
In the same Deloitte study, it was discovered that for more than 60% of Millennials, working with a purpose was a key driver in their decision-making process when it came to new employment opportunities, with almost half of those surveyed having declined performing assignments, or joining an organisation that contradicted their values. Like many of us, Millennials in particular thrive in environments in which their work has clear purpose for not only the business they’re working for, but society at large.
Attracting the right talent may lead you to have a far more introspective conversation with yourself than you what you realised.
Having the right mentor (and manager) in place
We’ve said it before: This generation is ambitious. Which means, they are focussed on growth – and part of that growth comes from surrounding themselves with leaders and mentors who are geared at helping them development. This is more than just a training program. This involves assessing whether your team at large, throughout your organisation, has the skills required to embrace, and develop a new generation of workers.
Most Millennials have grown up within a nurtured can-do environment, where they believe that anything, truly, is possible. And reaching a workplace where traditional values of leadership may present a challenge, they may feel disconnected, and disengaged.
Attracting Millennial talent is far more than just introducing a Pool table and Pizza Fridays to your office calendar, and has never been more critical than today. It requires a cultural shift from the traditional to a more flexible way of getting the best out of your team.
Whether you’re looking to gear up for a new workforce, or gear up for growth to sustain a new workforce, you’re at the right place. Speak to us today about how we can help you.