By 2024, the age groups corresponding with the “millennial generation” will make up almost 34 percent of the total labor force, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This group surpassed baby boomers and Generation X workers several years ago. It’s only natural that they’re making their presence known in the workplace and fundamentally shifting occupational expectations.
As a business leader, it’s important to offer millennials competitive compensation, good benefits and a stable company culture. If you don’t, millennials are not afraid to leave. Lay the foundation for longevity with business insurance, and consider these three ways that millennials are changing the workplace as we know it so you can adapt.
Outgrowing the Hierarchy
The traditional, top-down managerial hierarchy is phasing out, thanks in part to a millennial-led push for authority decentralization. As Forbes writes about this phenomenon, “While knowledge is powerful, sharing information is the true source of power because it enables others to act.” In the old days, entry-level employees were supposed to keep their head down and do as they were told. Now, millennials expect autonomy, decision-making power and flexibility, all with the end goal of greater productivity and engagement with their jobs.
Is your company still using a strict vertical structure for communication and decision making? Perhaps it’s time to take a page out of the millennials’ books and loosen things up. You may be surprised where some of your best insights and questions emerge.
Some Perks Preferred
There’s a stereotype surrounding millennials that they primarily care about “extras” like ping-pong tables, open office plans and cappuccino machines at work. As NBC News writes, “You’d think the benefits millennials value would be the juice bars, onsite gyms and pet-friendly offices. But the benefits they value align with those that other generations see as most important: things closely related to quality of life like health insurance, paid vacation and retirement plans.”
Think about it: Many millennials graduated into a hostile job market. Many employees this age also tend to have hefty student loans to pay back. It’s important not to underestimate how much they value benefits that promote stability, health and financial security. Can your company offer these? Before you install that rock-climbing wall, focus on offering the essentials; they will help you hire and retain employees more than surface perks (although those can be fun, too).
Growth is Paramount
Millennials, more than any other generation, look for “opportunity to learn and grow” first and foremost when applying for a job, according to Harvard Business Review. Gone are the days of working a 9-to-5 on automaton mode. Millennials seek genuine engagement in their positions, including how they relate to managers and how much autonomy they get in their roles. Advancement is huge, so be sure to structure your workforce to emphasize the growth of all employees over time—something that can become a pillar of your company culture.
When starting or running a company, you need to establish your own baseline infrastructure like business insurance to keep your company running smoothly. But you should extend this same stability to new hires—including paid time off, health insurance and retirement benefits. For all the ways that they’re changing the workplace (like deconstructing the hierarchy and prioritizing advancement), they, like any other employee, want to feel secure in their job. If they don’t, they’ll simply head elsewhere.
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