Millennials: A loyal and flexible generation
A report (the “Report”) published by a leading accountancy firm, has concluded that younger people within society are not motivated by the same things as “generation x” and the “baby boomers” were.
The Report, surveyed 8,000 “millennials” (those born between the early 80s and the year 2000) from 30 different countries which ranged from both emerging and developing markets. The Report has been monitoring millennial trends on the impact of businesses since 2013 and the response is relatively good news for employers.
The Report found that millennials feel more loyalty towards their employers than they did a year ago. Millennials; and in particular young professionals, previously struggled to visualise themselves staying with their current employer for the next two to five years. However, their vision has now increased beyond five years and many would be inclined to turn down freelance or consultancy based work. Many employers will find comfort in this result, particularly if they recruit to retain and can avoid a conveyor belt of recruitment and training costs. The results are somewhat surprising, given that emerging working patterns such as the gig economy continue to grow as discussed in our previous article. However, if we consider that the millennials have lived through “an economic meltdown in 2008” which saw millennials witness high youth unemployment, the desire for job security is understandable. Internationally, the economic downturn has been followed by political and social upheaval in light of the US presidential election, the UK’s Brexit vote and Italy’s referendum.
But for millennials, security does not necessarily mean compromising on flexibility. In fact, a staggering 84% considered that flexible working arrangements allow them to work more productively, increase health, happiness, well-being and enhance engagement with their employer. Increased engagement between employees and employers is fundamental to the success of flexible working arrangements and denotes an element of trust between the employee and employer. Particularly when employees are working away from the primary base of the employer.
The Report also found that automation is perceived to be an opportunity for millennials, rather than a threat. Millennials view automation as an opportunity to add value, create activities and learn new skills. This is encouraging news for employers who are introducing more efficient operational systems to decrease overheads and increase productivity within their organisations.
One area employers should take note of is the emphasis millenials place on accountability within the workplace and the wider world. Many feel that they are able to make a change with the help of their organisations and consider it important that they are provided with opportunities to make a change by their organisations. This highlights the importance of organisations taking corporate social responsibility initiatives seriously and ensuring adequate corporate social responsibility policies are in place.
On 9 March 2017, we'll be hosting our Retail Forum where Louise Holder, Employment Principal, will explore how companies might look to cater for Millennials in the workplace, whilst being careful not to alienate “Generation X” and the “Baby Boomers”. Click here to find out more about this seminar and to book your place.
If you would like advice on the topics discussed in this article please contact our employment team on 0345 070 6000.