How Millennials Are Reshaping The Future of Work
It’s official: The millennial generation is now the largest in America. The number of millennials is expected to reach 75.3 million this year, surpassing the 74.9 million baby boomers, according to Pew Research Center in Washington. That means that millennials now outnumber baby boomers. They outnumber Generation X. They’re more influential than ever and they’re impacting nearly every aspect of society. Maybe most importantly, they’re changing the way America works.
For starters, millennials are more likely to freelance than any other generation. They are, to borrow from the Freelancers Union’s Sara Horowitz, “the first generation of freelance natives.” They’re tech savvy, flexible and more independent than ever. They’ve got new ideas, new skills and new perspectives. They also comprise the largest segment of the on-demand labor market (1.2 million or 44%).
Millennials are not only the country’s largest living generation, they’ve now become the largest segment of the U.S. workforce, overtaking Gen X which held that title for a short-lived 3 years. Sheer numbers dictate that companies will have to adapt in order capitalize on this new workforce dynamic.
Here are 5 recommendations every business should heed when looking to attract millennials to their workforce:
1. Be Flexible
According to a recent study, 74% of millennials want flexible hours. Let them have input into their work schedules and remember that the 9-5 workday is quickly becoming antiquated.
2. Foster Collaboration
Nearly 9 out of 10 millennials don’t want to be “bossed”; instead, they prefer a collaborative workplace culture. The competitive cut-throat business culture of the last decade won’t fly. Less competition, more collaboration.
3. Dream Big
Both as employees and as consumers, millennials tend to favor companies with bold, ambitious plans to make the world a better place. Have a vision and be authentic, they’ll respect you for it.
4. Encourage Networking
Millennials have grown up using technology to network with friends and peers. That propensity for networking carries over into their professional lives, and helps promote productivity and loyalty. Let them Tweet and Facebook.
5. Reciprocate Loyalty
The loyalty that millennials offer to employers has often been criticized, but that’s an unfounded criticism. In fact, millennials are more loyal to employers than Gen Xers were at an equivalent age.
Millennials are reshaping the future of work as we know it. Businesses looking to stay competitive in this new world of work need to start investing in the workforce of tomorrow. A workforce rife with young and brilliant engineers, artists, writers, and more. A workforce that will likely define the next great generation of American businesses.