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Employing Generations Y and Z: how expectations have changed in the workplace

We’ve all heard about the Baby Boomers, born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s and who still make up a large proportion of today’s workforce.

They wanted – indeed, still want - a good salary, good pension plan and some health insurance thrown in.

But each generation has different aspirations. We’re now well into the realms of employing generations Y and Z – also known as the Millennials – and it may surprise employers to learn they want something rather different from their working environment.

Who are the Millennials?

The definitions are rather broad, but roughly speaking Generation Y comprises Millennials born between the early 1980s and the end of the Millennium. Generation Z are a bit younger, born after 1995 and now coming into the workforce. For the sake of completeness, between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y was Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980. (As an aside, we wonder what the next wave will be called – but we digress.)

What do the Millennials want?

There’s been a fair bit of research into what Millennials want from their workplace. These are the people who were virtually born holding an iPhone. Digital technology is for them what phones and TVs were for us – they are the norm and employers need to understand this. To attract these Millennials, employers need to communicate on their terms and meet their aspirations.

And attracting Millennials into the workplace, according to a report by PwC, is critical for the future of any business, so it really is time for employers to start talking their language.

For the report, PwC asked Millennials what they most want from an employer. Top of the list is opportunities to progress their career, then salary (which might once have come top) and third is excellent training and development.

According to PwC, Millennials “want a flexible approach to work, but very regular feedback and encouragement. They want to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognised”.

A separate survey, commissioned by Barclays, revealed six out of ten Millennials believe a comprehensive benefits package is essential when considering a job offer. Yet 85% felt their benefits package failed to provide the support and flexibility required to meet current and future financial obligations.

Yet another survey, this time by Deloitte, revealed that above all else Millennials want flexibility. While nearly two-thirds of Millennials said they prefer full-time employment, some 84% of Millennials report some degree of flexible working conditions in their organisations, and 39% say their organisations offer highly flexible working environments.

There is also another factor for employers to consider. The age gap between the older employees and youngest has grown. You have Baby Boomers rubbing shoulders with Generations X, Y and Z, all competing for the best jobs and the best packages. At the same time, employers should be mindful of each generation’s differing aspirations, and what they must offer to attract the talent they need.

Is the answer to offer differing benefits packages for different staff? Well, a word of caution here, because different packages mustn’t discriminate by gender, race, or age and so on.

To sum up, employers need to offer flexibility and a good benefits package. Salary is still important, and the opportunity to learn and develop is a must. And as for the digital knowhow? The Millennials will be able to teach their employers a thing or two.

If you’re an employer looking to work with a recruiter who really knows how to select the right candidates to put forward for your vacancies, the team here at 24-7 Staffing can help. Or are you a Millennial looking for a new career opportunity? Or a Baby Boomer wanting to get into a new area, or get back into work? Do get in touch with our team to discuss employment opportunities.










Melody Thompson

Published by Melody

about 4 years ago


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