Are we ready for a Millennial work force?

Are we ready for a Millennial work force?

Are we ready for a Millennial work force? By Harriet Finch

By the end of 2016, 1 in 4 Millennials will be stepping into managerial roles. By 2025, Deloitte predict 75% of the global workforce will be made up of the Millennial generation.

However, despite this inevitable change it seems some are clinging on to the “Baby Boomer Days”, to some “The Good Ol Days”.

There seems to be a general opinion that the Millennial generation are in a rush, they lack loyalty and they focus too keenly on work life balance.

But can you blame them?

As a generation who entered the workforce after the 2008 financial crisis and never experienced the working world without internet, they’ve had no need to be patient.

They don’t see the traditional hierarchy and progression ladder the baby boomer generation endured. They are familiar with flat management structures and open progression.

 

  Baby Boomer Millennials
Career Development Focus on developing their careers through opportunities within one organization or at least one industry. Moved up based on seniority, not always based on skill and expertise. Millennials will enter the work force with more experiences than any generation before them. They will continue to seek this through requests for more experiences and opportunities. If they don’t get it at their work, they will seek it elsewhere.

http://www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf

 

In the age of the Baby Boomer, it was considered normal to work for just one or two firms in your career. You would join and work your way up following a structured career plan which was created by their mothers’ and fathers’ generations.

However, is it realistic to expect this from our current generation? Millennials are too often being told they are “too steady” if they have remained in the same company for over 5 years.

Due to the development of technology, they are acutely aware of competitor salaries and find themselves regularly having irresistible salary increases and opportunities dangled in front of them via social media (I’m not talking this yachts, watches and cars for an hours work rubbish, I am talking real offers with companies embracing Millennials).

Therefore, is it fair that we call them disloyal? Or do they just have more access to information. Ask yourself this, “Would you have stayed in your current firm at the ripe age of 25 with the knowledge you could earn more and progress quicker at another firm?” Millennials don’t set themselves limitation, they have been taught by the ‘baby boomers’ that they can do anything or be anything! They try new careers without fear, they push themselves to progress. So YES, they will change companies more regularly, they will seize the opportunity to join another firm if there is a chance to progress. Is that wrong? After all, they are simply doing what they’ve been taught; to go out and get it! No limitations!

Second to disloyal (or maybe first, you decide), Millennials are perceived as lazy. Yes that is correct, some Millennials are lazy. Let’s take the cottonwool kids for example, the ones that have been spoon fed and never had to stand on their own two feet. Or maybe the ones who just think it’s easier to get benefits than work. Oh, or the most frustrating, the ones who arrive at 9.00 not before, leave at 17.00 no later and do very little between those hours (<- note, this is not normal, fire them).

However, whilst there are some lazy Millennials out there, they are just a small percentage! But still this generation are being branded with this mark/ this stereotype. So, let’s look why, let’s look at who might be seen as lazy when in fact they are NOT.

Example 1: They work exceptionally hard between their set hours, but do leave on-time. Usually they are the ones that have work mobiles available out of hours and have checked and replied to all their emails before reaching their desk at 9.

Example 2: The girl who leaves early on a Wednesday to pick up her kids, because she and her husband both have full-time jobs to pay for their ridiculous mortgage and childcare payments! Also not lazy. Example 3: Oh perhaps that guy that just sits at his computer all day, he just taps away on his keyboard doesn’t seem to really do much…. You know the one… Mark Zuckenberg! Yes that’s him. Another one who is not lazy.

There seems to be this misconception that hard work only comes from sacrifice, ridiculously long hours or manual labour! Perhaps that was the case but we are no longer in that era. We are in a generation where you can become a billionaire from an app, or work smart for 8 hours a day and achieve more than those working 12 hour days.

For the Millennials, work life balance is valued as one of the most important elements when considering a new job. For the baby boomers, this wasn’t even close to a deciding factor, so what changed? 

According to recent statistics 80% of Millennial couples both work full time jobs. Whereas only 47% of baby boomers have a fulltime working spouse, with 53% having one partner taking responsibility for all home-front duties.

  Baby Boomer Millennials
Work and family balance No balance “Live to work” At this point in their lives they are interested in flexible hrs and are looking to create balance in their lives. They have pushed hard, all work and no play and they are beginning to wonder if it was worth it. “Work to live” Balance is important. They will sacrifice balance, but only occasionally. They value their lifestyle over upward mobility. If presented with a work promotion that will throw their life out of balance, they will choose their lifestyle.

 

http://www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf

Although Millennials believe in work-balance they are equally open to the development of out of hours working and more and more employees are using technology to work from anywhere at any time.

Younger workers see that technology frees them to work productively from anywhere. They are a generation who believe they can have it all, successful careers without sacrificing family time.

 

This may sound very biased or one sided but I think we are at the crux of change, with Millennials set to be the leaders of the work place within the next 10 years, potentially sooner! I think it is important Baby Boomers consider how things are going to change, you can bury you head in the sand until you retire or you can embrace the change and nurture your successors! Are you going to embrace the next generation?

 

 


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