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Millennials and the Workplace: How to Prepare for the Next Generation of Employees

09/11/2017

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Millennials (also known as Generation Y) might just be the most researched generation to date. This generation born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s has experienced firsthand many fast and significant cultural changes, including the use of social media and technology, as well as politics and worldviews. Since this generation also lived through what is known as The Great Recession of 2007-2008, they have also experienced a season of high unemployment. Because of these generational cultural descriptors, employers are often faced with the need to learn and apply new approaches hiring and retaining Millennials in the modern-day workforce.

While Millennials in the workplace have often been coined as entitled, self-absorbed, restless, and sometimes lazy, a recent Gallup survey reveals that this generation mostly lines up with previous generations when it comes to work contentment. So, as Millennials have become quite the catalyst for workplace change, companies should be prepared and equipped for ways that this great generation can make the workplace happy and effective for all. Here are five ways that Millennials are changing and improving today’s workplace.

  1. Experience—Many people might view changing jobs quickly and often as a negative thing. However, Millennials view changing careers as opportunities to gain new experience and to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. While generations before them have held one to two careers with stability until retirement, the changing economy and digital work methods have steered Millennials in a different direction. Changing jobs multiple times within several years will be known a common indicator of the Millennial generation, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative one, as their experience with a variety of roles and environments can help organizations be better.
  2. Passion—Many Millennials have had the opportunity to study specific majors and areas of interest that appeal to their interests. This has created an urgency for passion in the workplace. Millennials don’t just want a paycheck. Rather, they want to do work that has meaning and that utilizes their talents.
  3. Value—In addition to passion, Millennials desire value in the workplace. The don’t just want to be told that their work is valuable, but Millennials also want tangible proof. A common trait among Millennials is a desire to be seen and heard. While they appreciate employers listening to their ideas and concerns, Millennials ultimately desire to see those ideas and concerns implemented and tested.
  4. Flexibility—Gone are the days of working at an office from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 5 days a week. Our digital world and technology-driven culture has created a new and flexible workplace model. Since Millennials place high priority on passion and value, this includes a strong desire for relationships and hobbies to thrive. New technology has made it very easy for Millennials to balance work with home, and working remotely is a growing trend with this generation.
  5. Transparency—At the end of the day, Millennials want to know that they can have easy access to employers. Even more, they desire the ability to communicate openly and honestly with those leading their charge. Millennials appreciate evaluations that offer relevant feedback and are typically more engaged when they can have consistent communication with their employers.

As Millennials continue to make up the larger percentage of today’s workforce, employers must be ready. There is much to be learned from this rising generation, and much of it can make companies and organizations be even better. To learn how LBMC Employment Partners can assist you with employee management and creating a better work environment for every employee, contact us today!

Millennials and the Workplace: How to Prepare for the Next Generation of Employees