Millennials have had an indelible impact on the American workplace. They have turned the norms on their head, bringing technology, flexibility and transparency to companies across the country.
Companies that want to recruit and retain millennials have to be willing to embrace it all, starting with technology. Whether it’s collaboration tools, video conferencing, or mobile apps, technology is a top consideration for many millennials seeking employment. This is something small business owners will benefit from embracing.
Take the pandemic as an example. Companies were able to move to remote work quickly and with few hiccups, largely thanks to the tech-savvy nature of their millennial workers. The learning curve was short, with many employees easily picking up where they left off in the office.
Remote work now the norm
Remote work is another trend ushered in by millennials and made popular thanks to COVID-19. In the years leading up to the pandemic, many millennials had shown a desire to work remotely, but companies resisted until they had no choice.
“Millennials always appreciated work-life balance, and before the pandemic, a lot of bigger companies said, ‘No, our way of managing people is being that big brother over their shoulder,'” said Andrew Meadows, senior vice president of HR, brand and culture at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings. “Millennials work differently. Accountability isn’t about sitting at a desk. It’s ‘how many tickets closed, how many problems did I resolve or sales I brought in.'”
The more flexible you are, the more employee loyalty it will breed – even more so in a post-COVID-19 world. Employees have gotten used to working at home and will expect the continued ability to do so once the pandemic is contained.
Christina Janzer, senior director of research and analytics at Slack, said recent research by Slack found that only 12% of knowledge workers want to return to the office, with 72% preferring a hybrid model of working in the office sometimes and at home sometimes.
Millennials have also left their mark on the way companies interact with their employees. Gone are the days of a strictly need-to-know basis for business communications. Millennials want to know what’s going on within the organization and expect transparency from their employers.
“The relationship people have with companies has changed a lot over the years,” Janzer told Business News Daily. “To have a successful relationship, you have to be very intentional about how you share what’s happening and what’s top of mind. There’s a higher bar for that.”
Key takeaway: Millennials have made a big impact on the workforce, changing the way employers communicate, use technology, and manage their staff. Flexible work schedules, the use of personal technology, and more open and transparent environments are largely thanks to millennials.
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Leah Georges’ research—the multigenerational workforce—sheds light on a first in America’s history: four generations interacting in a workplace, with the Gen Z group coming soon. Leah Georges’ research—the multigenerational workforce—sheds light on a first in America’s history: four generations interacting in a workplace, with the Gen Z group coming soon. Georges presents on generational perspectives, millennial leadership and the power of followership locally and nationally. As an assistant professor in the Graduate School, she advises students in research methods and dissertation design in the Interdisciplinary EdD Program in Leadership.
An alumna of Creighton’s undergraduate program in psychology, Georges has published on topics pertaining to emotion and jury decision-making, drug and mental health courts and best practices in graduate teaching and learning. She earned a selective spot in the Greater Omaha Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Omaha Program in 2015. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.