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What can we learn from millennials in the workplace?

Callum Sharp
Written by Callum Sharp

Today, the workplace is about much more than a salary. More than half of millennials in the workplace say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, according to a survey by Net Impact.

Who are Millennials?

The Millennial generation refers to those born after 1980. This group of people, who now primarily dominate the workplace, showcase a different set of values at work than the preceding generation. As millennials take on more responsibility in the workplace and assume roles of authority, it is becoming clear that those values are not career advancement and promotions, but instead, they are personal values, strong morals and high aspirations to affect change in the wider society.

Money no longer acts as the motivator it once was. As a result, young employees are turning to perks like lifestyle benefits, healthcare and workplace happiness as key drivers for building a long-term relationship with an employer.

This way of working offers many lessons for businesses both old and new, most of which will undoubtedly improve the face of your business.

Ethics, every step of the way

According to research carried out by Global Tolerance, 42 percent of millennials want to work for organisations that make a positive difference in the world. Moreover, 94 percent want to use their skills for good.

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For the millennial, purpose has overtaken pay. New-generation employees want to feel like they’re doing work that makes a difference and adds value to society, and that is bigger than just themselves. (As a millennial, I have to agree with myself here.)

What's more, a 2018 study conducted by Deloitte found that:

  • Only 48 percent of respondents in a survey of 10,500 people believe corporations behave ethically.
  • Just 47 percent think business leaders are committed to helping society improve.
  • A majority of Millennials across the world agree with the statement that businesses “have no ambition beyond wanting to make money.”

Here at Turbine, we’ve signed up to the Cooperative’s payroll giving scheme. This allows our employees to donate as much of their salary as they wish to any registered charity of their choice. And as an employer, we then match these donations.

With social consciousness on the rise, working for companies with poor ethical values will not only negatively affect your company’s brand image, but your employees will likely go looking for other work, too.

Community counts for something

Modern workplaces are now more focused on health and happiness than they've ever been. With a rise in policies like flexible working, it’s important for the millennial to remain connected to the workplace. This means putting practices into place to strengthen your team relationships.

According to the Harvard Business Review, close work friendships boost work satisfaction by 50 percent.

At Turbine, we work remotely. Community is at the top of our list of things to maintain. We use tools like Slack and Basecamp to generate a transparent and connected workplace, even when we’re working across several countries.

Not only does this ensure that our employees are not alone, it lets us become more productive, too. We can choose to work without distraction.

We also offer our employees a free Kindle with access to the company library. Perks like these turn employees into advocates and it gives them ‘bragging rights’ among their peers, which helps build a close-knit, unstoppable team.

Trust and value

Seven in 10 employees would like to have flexible working hours. In the UK, remote working is on the rise, and more than 4.2 million employees can now utilise such policies.

Employers might find it difficult to unleash their employees for fear of distraction and a lack of productivity. However, increased trust in millennial employees adds to their value, which consequently increases things like work ethic.

For the millennial, work is a lifestyle. It’s no longer the case that we switch off after we’ve clocked out; many employees are checking emails at the weekend and working on holiday.

Employer trust, then, is critical to increasing productivity in the workplace. Letting your millennials work on their own terms will result in company loyalty and harder work.

Millennials are the future of work

Millennial employees are driving a workplace revolution. And considering that by 2025, three quarters of the workplace will be millennial employees, it’s time for companies to take note and change the way they operate.

Remote working, increased ethics, environmental stewardship and workplace community are just a few key factors that boost employer loyalty, increased productivity and employee self-worth. Not to mention it’s good for your brand.

If you want to walk into the future, innovate the way you’re working so that you can keep those millennials around.

Download the human resources cheat sheet here

P.S. If you want to know more about millennials at the workplace, I urge you to watch this video by Simon Sinek on the problems of millennials in the workplace:

 

Business , Employees , Communication , Opinion , People management