Everyone seems to have an opinion about Millennials in the workplace today. It got me thinking after reading a recent article about the value of staying with one employer for a long time.
As a generation, we are either accused of being distracted and too short-term in our career outlook or we are blamed for craving constant feedback about how to excel. We can’t win. All of the stereotypes which dominate these types of discussions only confirm my suspicions that there is a general lack of understanding about what drives and motivates the millennial generation – my generation.
Millennials are expected to account for 75 per cent of the workforce by 2030. We will dominate the majority of workforces in the next 10 years. This means the future success of corporations rely on whether their workplaces cater to the needs and expectations of this generation. If not, they could face being the victim of one of the biggest generational wars in history.
Confident, opinionated, and spurred on by technology, millennials have no problem openly sharing their views. If an organisation’s corporate values do not translate on the ground, we will hold our employers to account. After all, social media plays a hugely influential role in our lives and has helped shape our personal, as well as political, identity.
As the first “always connected” generation, we have grown up with technology always being at our fingertips. This has given us the freedom to find out the brutal truth about an organisation before we apply, whilst collapsing traditional hierarchies, giving us unparalleled access to opinions and advice from the very ‘top’.
The perception that millennials switch between jobs every one to two years just to get an extra little boost in their paycheck on the whole is misguided. Happiness, mental well-being, purpose-driven work and an inclusive company culture is more important to us than our current pay cheque.
After all, employee development and company success go hand-in-hand. If we are truly the living and breathing manifestations of our employers’ values, we expect our individual progress to be tracked and real-time feedback to be offered, before our quarterly reviews, so we can improve at all the right moments in our careers. Equally, if our job offers us absolutely no sense of fulfilment and development we will look elsewhere.
In order to capture the interest of this generation, we need to “future proof” our workplaces so we cater to the rising millennial workforce. If employers get this right, they have the potential to have a group of individuals who will spend hours of their time authentically talking about you in their spare time, defending you in conversations and promoting you to an audience you may have never reached before.
Investing the time now, will ensure as an industry we remain relevant, aspirational and attractive to generations to come. For the UK to truly become the creative capital of the world, we need to nurture our young talent so we can inspire the best ideas of the future and create truly transformational campaigns. If we don’t work to make our workplaces attractive to millennials, the future of our industry is in serious doubt.
Nafisa Nathani is a corporate communications manager. For the past four years she has worked at Weber Shandwick and is a trained journalist.