Written by DONNA BONFIELD
The millennial generation is shaking up the workplace as forward-thinking companies realise they must change their working practices if they are to attract and retain the brightest stars of the future.
The 80 million people born between 1981 and 2001 are starting to dominate the workplace, with accountancy firm Deloitte predicting the millennial generation will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025.
But many organisations are struggling to attract and retain top talent by failing to understand what motivates younger workers.
I believe that attracting millennials is becoming one of the primary concerns for companies wanting to invest in a growing team who will bring a fresh perspective to their business.
Employers may believe the negative stereotypes suggesting millennials are lazy, entitled and addicted to their mobile phones, but by taking this view they are potentially missing out on a workforce that is actually highly-educated, tech-savvy, and keen to make an impact.
Companies are going to need to adapt in order to compete for this new talent pool, and attracting the best millennials means understanding what drives them.
The emphasis should be on creating an inclusive, diverse workplace for all, with flexible work schedules, competitive salaries, investment in technology, regular feedback and a clear plan for career development.
Here are five suggestions on how to attract – and retain – the best and brightest of the growing millennial generation:
- Think outside the 9-5 box. This is the first truly digital generation, who have never known a world without the internet; they’re constantly connected and have the potential to be far more productive given a greater degree of flexibility and the chance to work remotely.
- Provide opportunities for training and development. According to a Gallup survey, 60 per cent of millennials say the opportunity to learn and grow is a top priority when job-hunting. They aren’t afraid to change jobs and are likely to move on if they feel they aren’t progressing. Provide a personalised career development plan alongside proper training and mentoring, and give regular, formal feedback.
- Embrace technology. The well-connected millennial generation has grown up with the technology that others are only just growing accustomed to. Ease of communication is key: millennials are constantly sharing and conversing on smartphones, laptops and tablets at home, and expect to be able to do the same in the office. Providing this technology also increases the size of your workspace, allowing people to work together wherever they are in the world – encouraging collaboration and teamwork.
- Be clear about your company’s purpose. The millennial generation is keen to make a difference – both at work and to the world in general. Research shows millennials are acutely attuned to a business’s role in society and feel success should be measured beyond financial performance. They want a company to be innovative, compassionate and sustainable, with a clear corporate social responsibility.
- Create a diverse and inclusive environment. Millennials value tolerance, inclusivity, respect and flexibility. They want a supportive environment that gives a voice to everyone, from the boss to the trainee, with the view that this willingness to listen to a fresh perspective is what fosters true innovation.
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