3 Things That Make Millennial Workers Tick

millennial workers
  • May 3, 2017
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It’s not hyperbole to say that millennials–and the ways companies have changed to accommodate them–have fundamentally transformed the modern workplace. Look no further than the overhauling of corporate BYOD (bring your own device) policies for proof. Such changes are inevitable and (arguably) necessary because this young, talented, tech-savvy cohort is the largest generation in the American labor force, also comprising one third of the US population.

Think of the SMBs you know. Chances are that millennials hold key roles in the IT department or enterprise, across the entire technology spectrum, as strategists, analysts, security specialists and, increasingly, managers and leaders.

Whether millennials labor above you or below you in the corporate food chain, understanding them better will help you collaborate more effectively and accomplish more together.

Several recent studies into how millennial IT workers view themselves, the world and their careers reveal some interesting insights that SMB leaders and managers can use when hiring or working with millennials.

#1: Passion Trumps the Paycheck. A survey by Wakefield Research and Progressive Insurance of 1,000 millennials in the IT field found that young workers highly value job satisfaction over compensation. More than 80% said they would readily take less money and fewer perks to do a job they could be more passionate about. Fifty-eight percent reported they would prefer a flexible workplace option, such as occasionally working from home, even if a position without such flexibility paid 20 percent more. In addition, most want and expect training and other career-enhancing opportunities.

#2: Less Loyal than Boomers. Research from Florida International University and other sources reveals that other values dear to older workers, such as loyalty, a strong work ethic and a steady career path mean less to the younger generation. Growing up, millennials have witnessed the effects of corporate downsizing on parents and grandparents. The revelation that companies usually favor their bottom line over employees’ well-being has made young workers more suspicious of potential employers than previous generations.

Such experiences may also be driving millennials’ predisposition for job hopping and seeking out new opportunities early and often. Respondents from the Wakefield Millennial IT workforce study reported visiting job boards and other companies’ career pages an average of six times per week; perhaps of more interest to SMB hiring managers it that 60 percent of respondents had no qualms about applying for a new job within a month of starting a new one.

#3: Un-Boomer-like Take on Tech. A Vision Critical study of 134 millennial IT decision makers found that, compared with Boomer-age leaders, millennials’ are more willing than older IT pros to adopt and integrate new technologies, such as mobile, social and IoT (including robotics, sensors and wearables).

As leaders, this eagerness to try new things heavily influences their IT priorities and decisions. Sixty-six percent of those polled indicated they are likely to adopt new and different technology solutions, versus just 59 percent of their older IT counterparts.

The bottom line? Millennials are different. And the better employers understand what makes them tick, the more likely they are to hire, inspire and retain the right ones.

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