The naming of specific generations is a relatively new concept. It began in 1970 when the term ‘Baby Boomers’ was used to describe the vast increase in the US population in the period after the Second World War.
There was a ‘baby boom’, so to speak. Thus, those born between 1946 and 1964 were known as ‘Baby Boomers’. The rise in the birthrate of this time marks the beginning of a significant cultural shift in the United States and similarly the Western world. In fact, everything from politics and civil rights to music and art to sex and marriage that is treated as the norm today can be traced back to this population explosion.
For example, the Baby Boomers were the first generation where third-level education became an expectation (in previous generations it was traditionally reserved for the upper classes). And, speaking of classes, the rise of the Baby Boomer generation corresponds with the rise of the middle class.
This generation is so significant that we could spend our entire post exploring the different effects and relationships that they have had economically and socially on how we live and work today. But our post is actually about another generation, perhaps the most potentially significant group since the Baby Boomers…
We’re talking, of course, about those born (roughly) between the 1980s and turn of the Millennium, and thus called: Millennials.
Millennials of working age today are typically children of Baby Boomers and make up the largest generation since their parents—and therefore have become the most interesting demographic for marketing departments as well as employers the world over.
They are also ‘Digital Natives’—the first generation to not know of a world without the Internet and mobile devices.
Millennials in the workplace
The fact is, Millennials are currently the key demographic (18-34) for marketing companies to sell to, and for businesses across every industry to employ. There are about 80 million Millennials and, as of late 2015, they make up the majority of the world’s workforce.
So, the question for your business is: how do you attract the very best and brightest of this generation to come and work for you?
A good place to start is expectations. Is there a difference between what this generation of workers expect in their professional lives compared to previous generations? Given the rate of technology and industry change, you’d be right in thinking as much. As part of a recent survey from PWC, titled, ‘The future of work’, Millennials were asked to rate what makes a perspective employer most attractive:
52 percent of those surveyed said that good opportunities for career progression made a prospective employer the most attractive.
44 percent believed that competitive wages were the top priority when it comes to accepting a position at an organization.
Training and development
Programs for job training and development were another closely-held ideal from Millennials when considering a potential job offer.
Almost 60 percent of those surveyed said that they would deliberately seek out employers whose corporate social responsibility was comparable to their own. This, interestingly, was down from 88 percent in 2008.
As technology progresses, Millennials’ concept of daily working hours is shifting—less than a third expect to work regular or traditional office hours.
The rise of the digital natives
The role of IT cannot be overlooked or overvalued in attracting Millennials to your company. Similar to the cultural and economic shifts that were a hallmark of the Baby Boomers, the shifts in technology seem to mirror the changing expectations of Millennials in their professional lives. The role of technology is central to how we all—and Millennials, in particular—are now living and working. So to make your workplace the most attractive environment, your IT needs to be a fundamental pillar for your company. Some of the best ways to attract and retain Millennials is through flexible/remote working and through the use of mobile devices. When it comes to the best way to allow both these things to work optimally, you should turn to your IT setup.
The role of your intranet
Central to the role of IT in your company should be your intranet. This is a place for your Millennials (along with the rest of your employees) to begin and end their working day. A longtime staple in our professional lives, intranets have gone through their own generational shifts since they were first introduced. Once considered dull and difficult to use, your intranet should now be more akin to a social network where your employees can engage with each other and the business itself. Functionality, as well as your User Interface, should be easy and effective, thus enabling better communication and collaboration between colleagues.
To ensure that your intranet is as engaging as possible, it should be easy to use, quickly deployed, and attractive on the eyes. The user experience is key to that level of engagement for your employees. Valo provides an intranet-in-a-box solution that offers a pre-built set of intranet capabilities. It’s built upon a user centric design, tested information architecture, and enables best practices easily with simple navigation and tools. It looks great on any device, so no matter how or when your Millennials need to log in, they can enjoy a consistent and responsive experience every time.
To find out more about how Valo can help you implement a great intranet solution for your business and help engage your Millennials more effectively, get in contact today and…