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Is your workplace ready for millennials?

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Millennials are set to form more than 50% of the global workforce by 2020, making it more important than ever for employers to adapt their approach to attract and retain the best talent, without inadvertently alienating older colleagues. 

Also known as “Generation Y”, Millennials are the youngest members of today’s workforce and are defined as being born between 1980 and the year 2000. Due to major advancements in technology, millennials have been brought up very differently to their Generation X and Baby Boomer predecessors and as a result are having a huge impact on the future of workplace design, culture and management style. 


Digital natives

A defining characteristic of millennials is their affinity with technology, and they bring with them a wealth of digital expertise to the workplace. They have grown up in a world with instant access to reams of information at their fingertips, and are used to fast and efficient communication via instant messages, social media, email and texts. At work, millennials often prefer to communicate electronically, rather than by phone or face-to-face. They also like to use their own devices, so a BYOD (bring your own device) policy is a must for any employer looking to attract younger talent. Modern technology enables us to work from anywhere and that is driving a shift towards more flexible working practices for all generations, not just millennial workers.


Remove rigid corporate structures

Millennials often feel uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and when it comes to management style, millennials are looking for a mentor or coach rather than a boss. They would rather be given the flexibility to complete tasks in the most efficient way, rather than being told exactly what to do and how to do it. When it comes to feedback, annual reviews are simply not enough for millennials who value constant, fast-paced feedback and encouragement. As a generation, they are highly committed to personal development and continual learning in order to move up the ranks, so regular updates are the best way to keep millennials motivated and driven.


Offer a clear career path

The opportunity for career progression is a big priority for millennials, and can even sway them more than a bumper salary. This generation expect rapid progression and will go out of their way to get to where they want to be, even if that means changing employers to get there. In order to retain the best talent, make sure there is a clear and interesting career path mapped out within your organisation.


Create an innovative culture

When you consider where millennials would most love to work it is no surprise that innovative companies such as Apple and Google top the list. These innovative companies invest heavily in culture and work environment to be as attractive as possible for the younger talent pool. Millennials have blurred lines for work and social life. They enjoy working in teams and socialising with colleagues, so providing collaborative working areas and initiatives such as a happy hour or social activities can work in your favour to attract the best talent.


Work hard to retain talent

Employers have got their work cut out when it comes to retaining millennial employees. They are a lot less loyal than their predecessors and as a result are much more willing to move on if they feel that their needs are not being met. Employers must work really hard to attract and retain the best talent by adapting the culture, company values and approach to meet the needs of a younger generation.