By Anja van den Berg
Millennials are coming of age and streaming into the workplace, transforming company cultures around the world.
Research from PwC notes that millennials already form 25% of the workforce in the United States and account for over half of the population in India. In South Africa, alternative research notes that there are approximately 19,5 million millennials in the country. PwC’s research states that by 2020 millennials will form 50% of the global workforce.
These young people have a lot to offer businesses: they’re highly creative, social, technologically savvy, environmentally conscious and ambitious, says Bruce van Wyk, Director at PaySpace, a leader in cloud-based payroll and human-capital management software.
“On the other hand,” he continues, “they’re also impatient with ‘old-fashioned’ nine-to-five work days, manual offline processes and hierarchical management structures. Millennials are challenging the status quo, and some organisations may find them tricky to manage.”
When it comes to the work environment, especially pertaining to talent management, millennials seem to have some non-negotiable expectations:
Because they are digital natives, the workforce of the future likes getting things done quickly, Van Wyk explains.
“They’re easily frustrated by business processes that prevent them from managing their own work schedules. Applying for leave is a classic example. The standard process involves email requests and waiting for confirmation from the HR department. Millennials don’t see the point and would rather just manage their leave themselves.”
Van Wyk advises employers to include automated, self-service HR and payroll systems, which is already popular with the younger generation. These online systems feature quick, efficient and transparent processes that give employees more autonomy and control over their practical day-to-day work.
Millennials grew up in the age of the internet. They are used to having information and technology quite literally at their fingertips, Van Wyk explains. “This makes them somewhat impatient. They don’t want to have to chase people for answers; they want quick and easy access to information at all times.”
For example, if an employee is confused by his nett salary one month, he will want to immediately access his latest, and previous, pay slips to review the breakdown of deductions.
“A self-service payroll system makes this possible. There is no misinformation or delay in access to information, which helps avoid any misunderstandings and disappointment.”
Millennials want to work in a way that suits their lifestyle. This means being able to travel more should they want to or working from home more often if they have a family. To keep your employees happy, you have to give them the flexibility to work remotely. Fortunately, there are lots of business tools that can facilitate this successfully without any negative effect on your business. With information stored in the cloud, all your employees will need is a smart device or laptop and an internet connection.
- Career development
“Nothing is more off-putting to a millennial than a dead-end job,” Van Wyk warns. “This generation is ambitious and impatient to progress. They don’t want to be micromanaged in a role with no future, they want to be mentored and grow. A good performance management system that offers them a clear personal development path and review process is critical. Millennials want to be fulfilled by their work – and the happier they are in their jobs, the better they’ll work.”
To facilitate this, consider giving your employees and managers access to an online performance journal that they can add to all year long. This means that come appraisal time, the review information is relevant and not simply gathered at the last minute.
Michelle Baron-Williamson, executive of Managed Integrity Evaluation, suggests a number of approaches that should be considered and incorporated into an organisation’s hiring strategy to attract top millennial talent.
Examples include adopting social media as key tools in recruitment efforts, placing increased focus on culture-fitness and that the organisation exuberates a healthy culture, and offering professional development.
HR Future: https://hrfuture.net/articles/future-of-work/digital-economy/how-to-manage-the-workforce-of-the-future
MIE Smart Vetting Solutions: https://www.mie.co.za/articles/press-office/do-s-and-don-ts-of-hiring-in-the-age-of-millennials/249
Why We Are: http://www.whyweare.co.za/article/millennials