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Like the rush of adrenaline to a lifeless body, Millennials are infusing energy into the apathetic veins of companies, and by extension, redefining how management go about their structural activities.

Comprehensibly so, since according to this 2013 research study they are said to be the fastest growing segment of the workforce composing around 25% of the current staff, and are expected to reach 75% of the workforce by 2025.

That’s a lot of vitality!

The exuberant effects of these youthful cohorts can have been seen in the following areas within companies:

  • Increased nuance to hiring procedures
    Millennials by their nature are distinctive and possess unusual characteristics in relation to careers and company expectations. The basis of this peculiarity is rooted in the fact that they are looking for more in life, something than “just a job” or the chronological ascent up the corporate ladder.

    Bottom line: they want to do something that feels meaningful.

    This in turn has required businesses to take a different and more strategic approach in their employment tactics:

    • Corporations are developing comprehensive packages (flexible working hours, cheap/free gym memberships, stock options, personal development schemes) that go beyond competitive wages.

    • More emphasis is placed on the skill versus experience of worker. The prior rule of thumb was to hire workers who have worked in a certain industry for an extended period of time, now, employees are more interested in the diverse skills that a potential candidate has to offer, irrespective of how long they’ve been in the workforce.

    • Companies are also reinvesting heavily in their “soft” equity – these include things like “Best Places to Work” lists, visible sustainability efforts etc. - as an ardent approach to make their business alluring to prospective talent.

  • Relaxation of the corporate culture
    Historically, the cultural nucleus of most companies, especially the well-established ones) have been awfully structured and hierarchical – almost militant to an extent. Essentially, you come to work, carry out your duties and leave at the end of the day.

    Such quintessential rigidity has now given birth to a much more relaxed and informal culture. This is evident in the introduction of internal amenities (e.g. ping pong tables and bean-bags), dress-down Fridays, weekly/monthly team drinks, and a plethora of other morale boosting activities that make the work environment so much more comfortable and less strict.

  • Change in coaching style
    This young demographic require frequent feedback – one can attribute this to their deep immersion in technology that induces instant gratification. As such, the standard annual review (which used to be the only form of employee assessment) has now given way to additional more ongoing and real time coaching.

    Essentially, those formal yearly conversations are now supplemented with periodic unofficial chats with supervisors, peers and other thoughtful data collection used to evaluate the work performance of this group.

    Managers are making other kinds of accommodation since this workforce want to know if they’re doing a good job so they can make adjustment sooner than later.

  • Efficiencies in communication technologies
    Another hallmark to the millennial group is their method of communication, which is faster, and of course, more instant.

    Unlike the previous pastime form of corporate interaction which took a more “blanket communication style” (think back to the days of company wide memorandums/emails or intranet communications), business are now making steep financial investments in a “broadened style” of communication aided by technological advancements.

    This includes everything from group phone texting, instant messaging (IM) platforms, live video conferencing/chats, to mention a few.

    Companies are realizing that Millennials are at ease with constant forms of communication, and that the old company-wide-only-read-your-email-rule may no longer applies.

  • More incentive to foster loyalty

    It is said this younger workforce are “light on loyalty” especially when it comes to their dealings with companies. Previous generations were more predisposed to spending an extensive number of years at one organisation; Millennials are fleet-footed and are comfortable making the switch if they don’t feel a sense of value and investment from their employers.

    With this in mind, organisations are making great leaps towards ensuring that this workforce are well regarded and feel included to the company’s growth and success by focusing on non-financial rewards and incentives: some of which include training and development activities, free private health care, maternity/paternity benefits, assistance with housing, company cars, subsidised travel costs etc.

As you can see this demographic has drastically changed the corporate landscape which now has more texture and nuance to it. Hopefully, these pointers give you a clear picture – as CEO or business owner - of what to expect when next you’re considering staffing your organization with Millennials.

 

Written by Pip Spibey-Dodd @ Locomote  

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