29 Jan Millennials are shaping the corporate culture faster than ever
Have you ever had an employee responding to your email in a cute emoji or had one that asked you what a floppy disk is? If that’s the case, was that employee young? Perhaps below 30 years old?. Well as baby boomers make their exit from the workforce. Millennials and their younger counterparts, generation Z would be quickly occupying more than half of the workforce by 2020. Born in a totally different Era and having a different set of values. This new generation is constantly challenging conventional thinking about what a modern workplace should be. Love them or hate them, their influence upon your workplace will last and grow for years to come. Let us now understand on how millennials are shaping the corporate culture.
The Shift in Value
According to the oxford dictionaries, a value means “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something.” As everyone is born with different experiences, circumstances and era. So does their value. Compared to baby boomers who were born in the 1940s. Millennials are now having a drastic impact on the shape of company culture. They demand more for work-life balance, flexibility and out of all, they want to be heard. Long gone are the days when you log for more than eight hours at work. Instead of fitting their job, they want their jobs to fit them. The importance of having a life compared to a job is much more important to them.
Now and then. In the past, workers always value money as the main important key point in choosing a job. Today, perhaps more than any other generations. Millennials celebrate authenticity, adventure, freedom, flexibility and meaningful experiences. Rather than working in a high-paid normal 9-5 office job, they instead prefer to work in a culture that are aligned with their own sets of beliefs. If they are not personally connected to the company, then they probably won’t stick around for too long. As a matter of fact, according to a study by Fidelity, millennials would take an average pay cut of $7600 per year if they could improve their career development, find more purposeful work, better work-life balance and better company culture.
So how have millennials shaped corporate culture?
Work life balance
Compared to their previous generation that mostly tend to focus more on basic needs. Millennials are born in an age with better condition. Due to the development of healthcare, insurance and technology towards the beginning of 21st century, millennials no longer see the basic needs that Maslow pyramid show as something that is enticing. They have moved up in the order, demanding a lot on their psychological and self-fulfillment needs to be fulfilled. Money and material life was no longer seen as the number 1 factor, instead benefits and perks that directly impact their lives and their families are seen as much more important.
A study carried out by YouGov to millennials found out that work life balance was one of the most important factor when selecting a job, second only to pay. They desire flexibility in both working hours and location of work. Basic benefits that were once were deemed important like health insurance, paid vacation and retirement plans are no longer selling. Instead they want benefits that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life. Even a study by the polling agency Gallup founds out that “Flexible scheduling and work from home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision on whether or not to take/leave a job“.
Corporate social responsibility
Also known as the “Giving Generation”. Today’s millennials want to feel good about their work & make an impact at society. When it comes to social purpose & accountability, they have high expectations for themselves, and therefore they want to work for companies that uphold these values as well. In a recent Cone Communications survey, 87% of Americans will purchase a product if the company advocated for an issue that they cared about. In addition the survey also shows that 76% of millennials would do a research about the issues that the company supports & whether or not those are authentic. Brand perception has never been more important than it is today, and they expect companies to live up to their values and expectations.
The new generation of workforce want their work to have a purpose, to contribute something to the world and they want to be proud of their employer. The idea of making an impact is perceived as success. With everything else – like money and financial perks often seen as tangential.
Working for a company that’s doing good is not enough for millennials. This generation is a generation that wants to get their hands dirty – they want to provide ideas, suggest improvements and contribute to the well being of the organization. They are a generation that wants their voice to be heard. This is why the old traditional ways of handling an organization can no longer be adopted to millennials. Millennials now prefer “holocracy“, a term for flat power structure. They want to have easier access to those at the top, be given challenges instead of following the guidebook and grow from the start. Organizations that can facilitate stronger autonomy and a sense of purpose to millennials would be able to see an incredible production of output from this segment.
Work smart not work hard
Placing a big emphasis on productivity, the saying “work smarter, not harder” resonates with millennials in the workforce. A study completed by Penn Schoen Berland found out that 42% of millennials would quit a job that was lacking in tech or had tech that was below average. This is a reminder that using paper filing and other manual methods to store data is a big turn-off for most millennials. Dealing with analog instruments can be very frustrating. And in today’s age of IOT where workers of all ages are accustomed to mobile devices, wearables and apps. Employees too want the same type of technology that is provided at work.
With various technological tools that are now available in the market. Information can be accessed, touched, viewed and then stored away digitally. In a world of IOT & high tech mobility, tech is affecting our expectations for waiting times. And if businesses can provide their staffs with technology. This will create a win-win environment. Where employers enjoy the competitive gains that come from being an early adopter, while their staffs will feel more satisfied knowing that their work and efforts are being maximized through the adoption of newest tech.
Conclusion: the change from ‘Me’ to ‘We’ Generation
Millennials will soon make up 50% of the workforce and companies must ready to evolve their value proposition to attract and retain this new workforce. You must understand that millennials want to work for a company that recognizes them as individuals rather than cogs in the system.They go way beyond “following orders” and have already raised the bar. From “Me” to “We”, this shift to mentality will soon be the common norm in workplaces all around the world.
Tech wise, millennials have experienced the first hand impact of technology in their lives. And moving into a work that supports them technology wise would not just increase productivity. It has become a point where businesses can set themselves apart and be competitive when scouting for millennials. If employers close their eyes and ears to the demands and preference of this generation. Then they will risk losing strong talent and find it hard to remain competitive. Tales of startup offices that have sleeping pods and ping pong tables in the pantry have penetrated into millennials’ expectation on how their workplace should be. This is why to out win competition. Companies needs to be familiar with the needs and wants that this new generation of work force want and then adopt them. To stay relevant, organizations need to continuously evolve and innovate with the change of times.
The future is already here and perhaps its now time to adapt to them.
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