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August 16, 2016

Welcoming Millenials to the Workforce

In 2016, millennials are between the ages of 18 – 32.

Other names applied to this generation include:

  • Generation Y
  • Echo boomers
  • Digital natives

Millennials are the first generation who don’t know life without the internet and personal devices.

Staggeringly, millennials will represent 40% of the total workforce by 2020. No matter what industry you’re in, this generation is set to carry your business into the future. That means you need to understand their needs, wants, and expectations and act upon them swiftly.

So how can you millennial-proof your workplace, and attract the best of them to work for you?

It’s going to take more than a healthy salary to captivate and keep the best young workers. Surprisingly, PWC research found:

  • that while 64% of baby boomers listed their top job priority as income
  • 57% of millennials identified ‘enjoyment’ as their most important outcome of employment.

So, in one generation the fundamental reasons for working have shifted. Workplaces that nurture millennials and their new approach to work will reap the rewards in years to come.

Here are PWC’s top 5 insights to welcoming a new generation to your work place.

“90% of millennials say that work-life balance is important to them and 70% say it’s very important”.

Millennials make no apologies, they are the generation that seek to successfully achieve work life balance! They aim to fit work in around their life, and work when and where they feel most inspired.

What does this mean? They want to work less?

No - what they seek is flexibility in when and how they work.

They need access to digital content and ways to collaborate electronically. An intranet that makes work accessible anywhere, anytime is an expectation of millennials – a mobile friendly intranet is integral not optional.

 “Only 25% expected to work ‘regular office hours’, instead 38% expected to work mainly regular hours with some flexible working, and 32% expected to work predominately flexible hours”.

This generation of employees aim to work smarter, rather than longer and they expect to be rewarded on results, rather than the number of hours worked.

Improving productivity and efficiency is no longer related to increasing your hours of production and reducing costs. It’s about how effective you can be during working hours and being able to nominate when you work. So, business needs to ensure that employees have access to their work tools when they seek to work. A digital workplace is virtual and accessible 24/7 and is something that millennial employees expect you will have.

 “41% of millennials said they would rather communicate electronically than face to face or over the telephone”.

Digital communication and collaboration is second nature to millennials – they are totally comfortable with social and – they have an expectation that is how they will communicate at work.

While face to face meetings will always have their time and place, millennials expect access to ‘meet’ with colleagues at any time or place through technology.

A social intranet is a natural habitat for digital natives to thrive and prosper. So waste no time in implementing an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) that will enable constant collaboration and access to colleagues.

 “51% of those questioned said feedback should be given very frequently or continually on the job, while only 1% said feedback was not important to them”.

I often refer to millennials as the ‘blah’ generation – the generation that is ready to say something – the generation that is happy to ‘say it out loud’ – that is, ‘digitally out loud.’ They readily ‘blah’ to each other and ‘blah’ on content by: LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT.

The ability to give feedback comes naturally to them and they seek to receive it.

Millennials are used to ‘Working Out Loud’. A social intranet is the perfect place to generate feedback, discussion & collaboration.

Employees can receive constructive feedback from colleagues and have their efforts recognised by their managers. It’s like a virtual pat on the back and they are comfortable for it to happen in open public environment like the intranet.

“38% of millennial workers believe that senior management do not relate to younger employees”.

Yes there is a divide, not just in years but in expectations and attitude towards work.

Business will do well to enable ways millennials and senior management can come together and learn from each other.

A ‘reverse-mentoring’ program is a fantastic way to connect older and younger staff. Millennials “respond well to mentoring by older employees in an ideal world, they would like to see their boss as a coach who supports them in their personal development.” Pairing younger employees with senior staff acknowledges the generational difference, with both parties having their own unique skills to teach each other.

In addition to this, a social intranet can facilitate introductions and connections to be made. Millennials and senior management can learn about each other, communicate, collaborate and establish relationships via social channels and apps in your intranet.

Generation Y are not a foreign species that you need to fear – they are digitally savvy and their expectations of technology in the workplace far exceed what most organisations have on offer.

So, stop considering whether you need an intranet with social & mobile capabilities and stop wondering about whether it will deliver any benefits.

2020 is only 4 years away – you cannot afford to wait!

Contact our intranet specialists and organize a demo today.

Article written by GreenOrbit Team

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