The Millennials are now in charge! Millennials are the largest part of our work force now (by end of 2015) and thus hold an influential role in defining how the workplace will operate in 2016, says a recent PWC report. One of the key drivers is their desire to define their work environment according to a very different work standard than the one we non-Millennials are used to. Whether we are talking about working from home (64 percent want to occasionally) or their disdain for corporate structure, silos, and uninformed managers, Millennials will reshape the workplace in 2016.
Here are a few thoughts for you to ponder this week:
1. Look for more startup activity as Millennials further realize that they can completely define the workplace in their own image. (Hint: They are already starting businesses on the side.) Use this desire inside your own company to drive new product lines.
2. Plan for less internal bureaucracy in larger companies as frustration with old methods drive employee turnover. Stuck using old processes? Blow them up now and identify at least one that can evolve.
3. Look for adoption of technology-based communications solutions for non-tech workers (think Slack). Ask your younger employees what tools they use or would imagine using to communicate better.
4. Be prepared to compensate them at higher levels than last year. The better economy has created more demand than supply and they will apply this leverage--oh, will they apply this leverage! Budget for compensation increases now.
5. Your competition will be changing its culture to adapt to their needs, including:
- Flexible working hours
- Regular and detailed personal feedback
- Rapid career progression
- Training and development
- Engaged mentors (not a boss)
- A clear path to upper management
Develop a culture team to identify the one or two items you can tackle in 2016.
6. Leading companies will get ahead of these Millennial needs and may leave you and your company behind. Benchmark yourself against your hiring competition, not your business competition.
7. There is no company or personal loyalty bubbling underneath your flat relationship. In other words, don't assume you have it or that it will influence their decisions. Good luck. Nothing to do per se, but don't get caught not knowing.
8. By their results, not by their hours worked, is how tomorrow's workers wish to be judged. If you have a role in either hiring or managing, you must take this into account to be successful. Develop a review framework that is geared toward quantifiable results.
9. Expectations are super high for Millennials and their self-selected companies. You heard that right--they select you, not the other way around. With these lofty expectations (no economy issues today), the pressure for your company to help fulfill their needs is high. Game on! Sit down with your Millennial employees and talk about what they want, where they see the company going, etc. In other words--engage!
Great leaders get ahead of the bigger issues that will confront them tomorrow--not just those confronting them today. The work force is changing quickly and it is imperative that you understand the Millennial mindset and are prepared to act for the good of your business.