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How to Prepare for the Millennial Workforce

Monday, December 16, 2019
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Millennials are here to stay—there’s no denying that. According to recent statistics, one in three American workers is a millennial. By 2020, half of all U.S. workers will be comprised of this generation. These employees are forcing companies to change and improve their workplace to accommodate their diverse needs.

Apart from the Millennial workforce, a new generation is starting to enter the workforce: Generation Z. By all accounts, these workers are demanding and complex, and new methods will be required to keep them engaged at work.

These changes are not only happening in one country, but around the globe. And countries like the United States and China are responding accordingly. In China, companies have already started shifting their processes and work culture to become more adaptive to the Millennial and Gen Z workforce. In fact, China has a large number of startups, most of which are owned by Millennials, making it easier for them to adapt to upcoming generations. However, for companies looking to expand their business in China and need to hire new Millennial workers there, a headhunting firm in China can help them address evolving employment needs.

For instance, Millennials are no longer accustomed to getting stuck inside cubicles and working nine-to-five schedules. Instead, they prefer to work beyond workplace norms, such as by telecommuting or working in locations other than the office. Here are some small changes companies and recruitment agencies can implement to make way for this workforce.

Promote Creative Collaboration

Companies don’t need to emulate Google’s or Apple’s offices with slides and sleeping pods to entice millennials, but this group is fond of human interaction and eager to show off their creativity. Whether a company has a local office or is running a remote staff, those that promote a creative environment and provide opportunities for their staff to be creative will make millennials feel that they are part of something larger and ensure their employees from that generation will always be motivated to participate in the day-to-day operations of the company.

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Give Millennials a Chance to Show Their Personality

To do this, a company needs to revamp its hiring processes. One of the traits that any company’s HR department needs to be on the lookout for is what’s known as hyper-customization—a tendency for personalization, ranging from playlists to clothing to education. Millennials applying for jobs are now equipped with varying degrees, so it’s not going to be easy to compare candidates. Instead of focusing on GPAs and academic performance, companies need to look at a candidate’s personality and how it fits their company. Give them a chance to show them who they are.

Straightforward Communication Is the Key

According to three national studies, when millennials were asked how they want to communicate with bosses and co-workers, 84 percent preferred face-to-face communication more than any other channel. This is quite surprising given that millennials are glued to their smartphones. This age group is also equipped to receive feedback without taking offense.

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Encourage Independence Within the Workplace

This may sound contrary to the first point, which is to encourage collaboration, but millennials thrive on independence as well, and it would be a big mistake to assume that they aren’t capable of working alone. In fact, many of them believe in the adage, “If you want to get work done right, do it yourself.” A fine balance between independence and collaboration will give millennials enough motivation to get the work done.

Acknowledge That Millennials Will Have Side Gigs

Companies make the mistake of firing millennials for having side gigs. It’s called moonlighting and often taboo in the workplace. But even before millennials took over the workplace, moonlighting was already an issue, so why make this a big deal? Millennials are known to have side jobs for several reasons—mostly because it helps them reach their financial goals faster. If an employee is working for a website design firm and works part-time as a baker, there’s no issue at all because these are two different industries. But if he or she works part-time for another firm, then that’s a conflict of interest. Companies should be lenient and more accepting of the fact that millennials may have more than one job. If it doesn’t affect the quality of their work and the integrity of their employment, companies can safely turn a blind eye against moonlighting.

Provide Perks

Millennials thrive on perks and benefits. Whether it’s providing them with healthy snacks, free gym memberships, or even something as practical as on-site laundry, millennials want to work where they feel they’re appreciated by their employers. And perks are one way of getting them to feel that way. Employee recognition has a fairly large impact on motivating millennials to collaborate and show their personality in the workplace.

Millennials are highly present in the workplace, and within the next few years, entire companies will be run by the next generation of the workforce. Accommodating these changes will help companies adjust to the different needs of the workforce without the need to change physical or financial infrastructures. To put it simply, these changes listed are not going to break any company’s bank.

About the Author

Sophie Jones is a digital marketing specialist, and she is passionate about marketing and China. She has spent 5+ years in China and works extensively on the China market on the following: digital strategy, lead generation, and Baidu optimization.

1 Comment
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Very interesting article! I am working on my thesis on Generation Z in the workplace in Argentina! Once I finish it I'll be able to share my research.
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