A few weeks ago we wrote about the disconnect between managers and employees classified in as Millennials, ages 18-35. We know people in this age group look at things differently than more veteran employees, but we may not realize the changes this will create in our workplaces.
In her annual internet trends report, venture capitalist Mary Meeker notes millennial employees now comprise a larger percentage of the workforce, 35%, than do the baby boomers and Gen X groups which have 31% each. As members of the latter groups leave the workforce and new younger employees are hired, these percentage gaps will continue to increase.
Meeker’s study reported the top three benefits favored by millennial employees were Training and Development (22%), Flexible Working Hours (19%), and Cash Bonuses (14%). They ranked notably higher than more traditionally favored benefits such as pension systems (6%), greater vacation allowances (6%), and free private healthcare (8%).
Employers will see increasing needs to consider the interests of younger employees in structuring the benefits they offer to staff. The same is true of other aspects of the workplace, such as work rules. Ray Gillenwater in The Entrepreneur points out the need to modify outdated company policies to better suit younger employees, calling for organizations to “Poll the team: What policies need to go? What processes need to be improved? How can the company improve its culture?”
We encourage employers to engage employees to look at the interests of all parties when trying to resolve disputes and solve problems, so this is not a new idea. We also encourage employers to engage employees and listen to their ideas, as we again do so in this case. By involving all employee groups to help determine benefits offered and other aspects of the workplace, the organization can develop strategies that can help attract and retain new employees.