Experts predict that by 2020, millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce with Gen Z making up 24%. That equates to more than half the entire workforce population!
Considering their powerful effect on trends, tech innovation, workplace culture and even the way we communicate, businesses have had to adapt to attract and retain the attention of this impatient generation and its successors, Gen Z.
Millennials are Multitaskers
Known as Generation Y or Generation Me. Demographers disagree on the exact date range, but millennials are largely considered to be born between 1980 and 1996, and have been described as educated, positive about tech, entrepreneurial, civic-orientated, environmentally conscious, and progressive.
1. 91% are regular internet users
2. 73% work more than 40 hours a week
3. 26% globally work two or more paid jobs
4. 12% say it is unlikely they will ever retire
Gen Z is Ambitious
Known as Post-Millennials, The Founders or Generation We, members of Gen-Z were born after 1996 and will soon become the youngest demographic in the workforce as they complete their studies and move into the professional realm. Having grown up using the internet as second nature, Gen Z are true digital natives and have never known a world without it.
1. Prefer shorter, informal communication
2. Likely to be the most entrepreneurial generation yet
3. 61% want a boss they can respect
4. 58% are willing to work nights and weekends
Money: No Longer the Most Effective Motivator
With new expectations and values placed on careers, millennials are completely challenging the traditional workplace and paving the way for a younger generation that, like their predecessors, expect far more from a job than just remuneration.
63% of millennials intend to stay with their current employer for the next few years or longer, but research suggests that companies aiming to attract millennial talent need to offer more than just money to increase retention and happiness.
A survey conducted with over 19 000 working Millennials across 25 countries revealed their top five priorities when looking for a job:
1. 92% Money
2. 87% Security
3. 86% Holidays / Time off
4. 80% Great people
5. 79% Flexible working
4 Things Worth More to Millennials than Money
1. New opportunities
They would rather stay at a company that offers new opportunities than move to a new one. Other things that create loyalty include:
• Better work life balance
• A clear career path
• Recognition from managers and peers
2. Regular Communication
Short-term objectives are important to millennials and at work, they prefer regular check-ins to annual reviews so that plans can be changed accordingly. Communication needs to happen as fast and as regularly as social updates do.
3. Recognition and feedback
Recognition and real-time feedback is an important way to motivate and encourage millennials at work, and is considered a low cost, high impact way to inspire loyalty and happiness. According to research:
• 64% of millennials want to be recognised for personal accomplishments
• However, 39% say their companies don’t offer any recognition
4. Work/life balance and alternatives to full-time work
The traditional 9 – 5 doesn’t exist for millennials anymore. In fact, it’s been reported that because they value balance so much, 77% of millennials say a flexible work schedule enables them to be more productive, and they will actively seek out companies that offer this.
This has led to an increase in:
• Flexible options like working from home
• A rise in coworking spaces
Top five reasons for quitting a job include:
• Minimal wage growth
• Lack of opportunity to advance
• Excessive overtime hours
• A work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork
• A boss that doesn’t allow working flexibility
Communicating with Millennials and Gen Z
Having had a massive impact on the way we communicate today, millennials and Gen Z are responsible for creating a world in which media consumption is rapid, multitasking is the norm and filtering information quickly is a necessity. For businesses and recruiters looking to grab the attention of these potential employees, it’s essential to consider new ways of communicating.
‘Blink, share, laugh, forget’
That’s how The Future Laboratory summarises Gen Z’ers, who experts say are fast-thinking and expect the same from their media platforms - which they turn to when doing research. When aiming to catch the attention of potential employees, businesses need to remember this by using social media to convey company values and culture.
When 18- 29 year- old’s research prospective companies:
• 28% use Instagram
• 25% use Facebook
• 23% use LinkedIn
The age of ‘TL:d/r (too long, didn’t read)
Millennials and Gen Z readers won’t devote time to something if it doesn’t grab their attention. While emails are still one of the preferred communication methods among this demographic, one study revealed that 70% of millennials believe text messaging apps are resulting in emails becoming shorter and less formal.
Considering how much tech has impacted the way millennials engage, companies looking to attract and keep talent should invest in new digital communication tools and technology – especially since 93% of millennials say that up-to-date technology is one of the most important aspects of a workplace.
Don’t Overlook the Art of ‘Unplugging’
There’s a reason that 2016 was a record-breaking year for the UK publishing industry, with book sales growing by 8% - the highest increase since 2012. Because millennials are always plugged in, they consider ‘unplugging’ a novel way to relax, enjoying the tactile feeling of holding a real book over that of an eBook – and this translates into the way they view work and downtime.
This need for unplugging is something businesses need to remember when dealing with millennials and Gen Z. In addition to the value they place on flexibility and agile working options, young employees are happiest when they have work life balance. To help encourage this, businesses are setting time limits to when emails can be sent, discouraging afterhours work and encouraging leave to be taken.
What Does the Future Hold?
More businesses are going to start introducing benefits to increase employee happiness and loyalty as the millennial and Gen Z workforce increase, flexible working will become even more in demand, and different ways of communication will start to become more mainstream as businesses adjust to the ways in which this ever-evolving demographic engages.