The Leader Magazine

MAR 2018

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t H e le A de R MARCH 2018 25 o ur research on Millennials At BHDP, we realize that no matter how much we stress the importance of thinking about life stages, Millennials will still be a concern for our clients. After all, by 2020, they will account for half of the workforce. So, what did our research with undergraduates at the University of Cincinnati actually tell us about them and the key strategies for meeting their needs? #3: Millennials grew up with the Internet and enabling technologies at their fingertips. Given technology and their comfort in working independently, Millennials do not want to be bound by the traditional workplace. • Workplace flexibility is critical to satisfy Millennials' desire for autonomy and choice, and for leveraging their deep experience with technology. • Success in completing projects and other clear goals and deliverables should be emphasized, versus time in the office. • "Core hours" and/or a set day when people are expected to be in the office can help virtual employees stay integrated into the company's culture. #1: Millennials are purpose- driven and value altruism. They want to understand the over- arching "why?" of their work, what the short and long-term goals of their company are, and how their work can contribute to the greater good. #2: Millennials are used to working in collaborative teams from their educational backgrounds. They want their employers to take the time to understand their strengths and put them in roles where their strengths can best be used by the team. • It's critical to communicate a company's vision, mission and purpose. • Consider providing opportunities to volunteer, including programs that provide paid time off for volunteerism, link variable com- pensation to sustainability metrics, and provide incentives for healthy lifestyles. • Millennials may be willing to take less pay where these and other benefits that show genuine support of employees are available. • Collaborative, social spaces are important. • Flat organizations that foster team- based work appeal to Millennials. Hierarchical structures are viewed as barriers that restrict communication and collaboration. • Two-way mentoring will work better than top-down management. Millennial Values i mplications These groupings are functional and charac- terized by action rather than assumed genera- tional preferences. Five groups may be too few. The list doesn't include non-traditional workers, such as parents entering or re-entering the workplace after raising a family or those seeking the flexibility of part-time work because of other commitments. It also is important to remember that life stages don't have to be linear in progres- sion. As Rowe points out, some parents of grown children might have grandchildren living in the home. They might have the needs of older employees closing in on retirement as well as a young family. The challenge for a truly success- ful life-stage approach to workplace design is dedicating the necessary resources to identify Stop! Millennials?

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