Millennials are Changing Your Workforce. Are You Adapting?

millennial man

No doubt about it — Millennials are a force to be reckoned with. Even if your current workforce includes a mix of Traditionals, Boomers and Gen X’ers, it’s the Millennials who will drive how you do business for years to come.

Who are Millennials?

See me at RIMS 2015

I’ll be speaking on this topic at RIMS April 27 at 2:00 PM. See me there, or look me up at the Willis Hub.

Ranging in age from 18 to 33, Millennials—according to Pew Research—are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, and are linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful, in no rush to marry — and optimistic about the future.

A third of older Millennials (ages 26 to 33) have a four-year college degree or more — making them the best-educated cohort of young adults in American history. And they expect their education to correlate with economic success, even more so than previous generations.

These “digital natives” have taken the lead in seizing on the new platforms of the digital era —the Internet, mobile technology, social media — to construct personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups.

Millennials are also the most ethnically and racially diverse group of youth in the nation’s history. Among those ages 13 to 29:

  • 5% are Hispanic
  • 2% are Black
  • 3% are Asian
  • 2% are mixed race or other
  • 8% (a record low), are White

While Millennials are more adamant than older workers about having a true work-life balance, they are great multi-taskers, goal-oriented, tenacious and entrepreneurial. They want to learn and they expect mentors to show them the way. So make plans now to provide that experience.

What This Means for Employers

Many Boomers are beginning to leave the workforce, taking their knowledge and expertise with them.  It’s Millennials who will be filling this gap.

Research shows that nearly 70% of all workforce knowledge is tacit and not written down. So your options are:

  1. Understand your organization’s intellectual capital is at risk. Now.
  2. Implement a formal mentoring program
  3. Ensure that your managers develop mentor relationships with their 20-something employees… or plan on rebuilding organizational expertise from square one as your older employees retire!

Top 10 Ways to Attract and Retain Millennials:

  1. Opportunities for career progression
  2. Mentoring and coaching programs
  3. Competitive wages/cash bonuses
  4. Excellent training/development programs
  5. Flexible working arrangements
  6. Good benefits packages
  7. International opportunities
  8. Good reputation for ethical practices
  9. Corporate values that match their own
  10. Reputation as employer of the best

Here’s the takeaway: Millennials are attracted to employers who can offer more than good pay. Are these benefits in your offering?

About Lester Morales

Lester Morales is Chief Growth Officer of Willis’ Human Capital Practice, based in Tampa, Florida. He has been wi…
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