How the Next Generation of Employees Are Changing the Landscape of Business
In every profession across the globe employers are forced to adapt to never ending, far-reaching business terrains. The substantial influx of technology has accelerated the business world into the 21st century and increasingly assertive trade unions have meant that adapting to change has become the norm for the everyday employer. In addition to these and other tireless complications, a new obstacle has emerged; a workforce generation of Millennials aka Generation Y. Gone is the diligent, tireless, laborious generation of baby boomers, replaced by a tech-savvy, over-educated albeit ambitious generation of kids.
With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Google, employees have become accustomed to assurances that were essentially non-existent some 20 years ago. It is undeniable that young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg have placed an increasing emphasis on reform allowing this generation to hold revised workplace expectations, which have both positive and negative ramifications.
A recent study conducted by the Oxford School of Economics shows a gulf in priorities between Millennials and their counterparts. When asked what was most important to them with regards to the workplace, 68% of Millennials answered compensation, compared to only 64 % of non-Millennials. In fact answers varied on almost every question asked, non-Millennials preferring meaningful work-life balance amongst other things. It should also be noted that 32% of Millennials ranked achievement of income goals as a priority, in comparison to 30% of non-Millennials. These are staggering statistics when bearing in mind that on average, only 30% of employers are giving special attention to the particular wants and needs of Millennials.
Employers who place an increased emphasis on the distinctive, differing wants and needs of both Millennials and non-Millennials will reap rewards through a greater employee work ethic and an increased passion for even the most mundane of assignments. The incoming generation of Millennials undoubtedly bring with them revised priorities and a fuelled ambition to succeed. It is now down to employers to adapt to the changing landscape of business and accommodate the initiative of this new generation of workers.
Increased Promotion Opportunities
In 2011, Opinium Research commissioned a report that sought to determine what it is that Millennials desire most from their employment. The results indicated that a large proportion of Millennials are determined to climb as high up the corporate ladder as possible. Career progression was noted as the most lucrative incentive an employer could offer for this up-and-coming generation, with 52% agreeing that promotion opportunities were equal to job selection. To put this in perspective, the same report indicated that only 44% of those surveyed selected competitive wages as a determining factor.
The landscape of business will undeniably be impacted by this modern, unfamiliar preference of career progression over competitive wages. It is clear that employers, who are unaware, indifferent or simply unwilling to tailor their strategy to this incoming generation, will be left behind in an increasingly modern, innovative economy. Although this ambition is undoubtedly positive, it is important to bear in mind the fact that this ambition could unnerve or stifle other generations.
While acknowledging the importance of this vigor, the report further indicated that although millennials are comfortable working with older generations and value mentors, in particular, there were signs of tensions. 38% of those surveyed said that older senior management do not relate to younger workers, and 34% said that their personal drive was intimidating to other generations. Employers that are unaware of this fact will ensure their businesses are increasingly susceptible to co-worker tensions and inefficient work.
Importance of Job
This incoming generation of millennials already makes up over 40% of the workforce, a figure that is expected to rise to 75% by 2025. This generation are bound to make a telling impact in every aspect of the business environment. A survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield Global Business Consulting Publication asked thousands of young participants to agree or disagree with a variety of statements pertaining to their workplace. A striking 95% of millennials agreed with this sentiment “I work harder when I understand how my work contributes to the company’s mission”.
This generation of workers believes that being acutely aware of the importance and relevance of the job at hand is a motivating factor behind doing it with enthusiasm and diligence. Furthermore, millennials have developed a culture of consistently acquiring new knowledge and bettering oneself in all aspects of their work lives, with 89% of participants agreeing with the statement that “I believe it’s important to be constantly learning”.
Employers across the country are adapting their strategies to fit in with this new generation of workers. These millennials are having a monumental impact on how businesses are run nationwide and their numbers are growing interminably; understanding and interacting with this new generation could be the difference between growth and stagnation.
As arguably the most successful millennial to date, Mark Zuckerberg once said
“Understanding people is not a waste of time”