January 09, 2017

Working with the New Kids

by Guest Blogger

We wrote earlier this month about how marketers across industries need to make millennials a top priority. For this new generation of buyers, there are many non-traditional ways to get your message out there, across online platforms and through new forms of marketing.

(An aside: Just wait until we’re talking about Generation Z, who’s essentially been connected to WiFi from birth. But that’s for another day.)

And as we alluded to in that post, the workforce at large is reckoning with the fact that millennials now make up the largest portion of the workforce, having eclipsed Gen Xers in 2015. By 2030, they’ll make up nearly 75 percent of the workforce. Organizations must be willing to accommodate the new ways in which millennials prefer to work, or risk getting left behind. For the building and construction industry, this is more important than ever before in the face of skilled labor shortages and new technologies changing the ways we work.

Recent research has shown that some of the most widespread generalizations of millennials as working people—they’re disloyal, they’re demanding—simply aren’t true at large. What IS true?

Millennials value compensation beyond dollars.
Our last post noted that millennials are saddled with a growing student loan debt, and some forward-thinking employers are keeping that in mind. As Forbes notes, a loan repayment program may be more attractive to a millennial than a 401(k) contribution. Health care incentives (local gym memberships, for instance) and travel opportunities are also attractive.
Millennials want flexibility.
The average millennial has little interest in being chained to a desk all day, and many of them highly value a work/life balance. A recent PwC study notes that “unlike past generations, who put an emphasis on their careers and worked well beyond a 40-hour work week in the hope of rising to higher-paying positions later on, Millennials are not convinced that such early career sacrifices are worth the potential rewards.” Organizations can consider offering opportunities to work from home or flexible hours as an incentive—and in an increasingly connected and digital world, it’s easier to do this than ever before.
Millennials aren’t THAT different.
One critical thing to remember is that most perceived differences between millennials and older generations in the workforce are based on the individual. Certainly, some millennials don’t mind a rigid work schedule, want that 401(k) and don’t mind working those extra hours. Some of the advice in this post probably sounds good to a Gen Xer or a Baby Boomer!

Again, per PwC: “The study found they [millennials] did not feel more entitled or less committed than their older, non-Millennial counterparts, and are willing to work just as hard. The global survey also found that many of the Millennials' attitudes are consistently shared by their more senior colleagues.”

Finding that common ground is workplace advice that goes across all generations, and all workplaces. Keep it in mind!

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: January 09, 2017 by Guest Blogger Filed under: employee, millennials, workplace