Millennials or Generation Y – those born between the early 1980s and 2000s are the next generation of workers.
Born to the wealthy baby boomers, these under 30s are often represented as being strapped for cash, entitled and unable to hold down a job.
A survey by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com found that almost half (45%) of companies had a higher turnover of Gen-Y employees than older generations.
However, the latest research suggests that people from other generations, namely their parents, and perhaps employers, simply don’t ‘get’ them.
The attitude towards work and careers is completely different for Gen-Y than Gen-X.
Their parents were driven to find a ‘job for life’ and willing to put in the hard graft that would help them achieve financial stability.
On the other hand, if Millennials job demands are met, they’re happy to up and leave to capitalise on an opportunity that will support their chosen career path.
Many of the UK’s Millennials are already leaders in the technology industry and in another decade, they’ll account for 75% of the workforce.
With that in mind, it’s essential that employers understand their wants and needs.
The 2014 report based on Deloitte’s annual Millennials Survey gives a unique insight to the minds and character of today’s graduates. Employers, take note.
1. Businesses should do more
Employers may well be thinking they are already helping the economy by providing jobs, and 46% of Gen Y agrees with them, but more can be done to tackle the challenges facing society.
Millennials are not only concerned with the health of the economy, but also climate change, income equality and ethics. They believe that while businesses intend to do well in these areas, they are falling short of their potential.
What’s more, many people from Generation Y think that businesses end up doing more harm than good, by having a negative impact on resource scarcity and protecting the environment.
Most Millennials don’t think that their current employer encourages them to think creatively.
However, a company’s innovation is important to jobseekers, with a staggering eight in 10 (78%) people aged between 18 and 30 being influenced by it when choosing where to work.
They believe that there are many barriers to innovation, with management attitude, operational structures and procedures, and employee diversity scoring highly.
Two thirds of Gen Y say that a reluctance to take risks and an unwillingness to team up with universities are preventing companies from building an innovative organisation.
While it might be easy to remain ignorant to Millennials demands for an innovative organisation, 44% of them believe businesses are able to tackle the challenges facing society today. If employers are more creative and adventurous, they might be able to do just that.
Today’s graduates will soon have their names on the office doors of some of the biggest companies in the world.
With most university leavers happy to work their way up the ladder, career progression is high on their priority list. The younger generation are keen to develop their leadership skills, with a quarter of those questioned by Deloitte ‘asking for a chance’ to prove themselves.
Half of all Millennials also think that companies should do more to develop their future leaders.
4. Businesses shouldn’t just focus on profit
Strong financial performance is important for any company. A few unhealthy quarters could lead to dire consequences. However, Millennials want to see more than just profit.
Deloitte found that many Gen-Yers are not happy with businesses that have a single vision: to generate higher profits.
This consideration is evident in the number of social enterprises being started up by Generation Y. In 2010 there were 68,000 social enterprises in the UK, compared to just over 5,000 in 2003.
5. Willingness to remain independent
It’s clear to see that innovation is very important to Millennials. What’s more, as a group, they are unwilling to wait around for employers to catch up.
If they are dissatisfied with the way an organisation works, they are happy to look for new opportunities, with concerns about unemployment quashed by an ability to work independently.
Millennials were born into a generation of digitally native people, meaning that the use of technology comes naturally.
A recent study by Elance found that 85% of graduates consider online freelance work to be a “highly attractive and lucrative career option”. Around seven in 10 also thought it offered a better work/life balance.
These findings suggest while there is a gulf between the needs and wants of the Millennial generations and today’s employers, simple changes may be all it takes to get things back on track.
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