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Via Forbes : Why Is There Such A Disconnect Between Baby Boomers And Millennials When It Comes To Work Ethic?

Baby boomers sometimes believe millennials are entitled and lazy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Millennials have entered a professional world where their realities are wildly different from the ones Boomers knew. They prioritize things that don’t make sense to boomers because their environment has different demands.

For example, millennials expect to be fired or let go regularly, so they want work that is directly in line with their own career equity, which are the skills and experiences that help them improve their career prospects. They know their time is limited, so they don’t invest in doing things outside their own path. Boomers, however, are used to working hard for a company in exchange for long-term investment in skills development and for security, like a retirement fund or pension.

But employment security and long-term investment no longer exist in the modern working world. So what are millennials working for?

Having worked extensively with millennials at my companies, I’ve found they often work incredibly hard. But first, they need to feel like what they’re working toward aligns with their own goals and aspirations. Specifically, I hired a lot of freshly graduated art history students to work as account representatives at Lofty.com. I ensured upon hiring them that I knew what they wanted to build in their careers, and ensure that their role within Lofty would amount to that end. This created a management-employee partnership. They worked hard for my company because they felt they were getting something out of it that benefited them.

This may sound foreign to boomers. They come from a world where they were expected to pay their dues by working hard on whatever the company needed, with the expectation that the company would reward them over in the long-term. Now, millennials will work hard when they are given opportunities that help them provide for themselves without any kind of deal.

In order to bridge this generational divide, we have to update the old bargain in a way that boomers can understand and millennials can use. That means understanding where both sides are coming from in order to make the best possible deal.

But first, let’s talk a little further about where boomers are coming from.

Baby boomers have certain expectations of young employees based on their own experience.

Boomers entered a company and were expected to pay their dues in order to move forward. The understanding was if they worked hard for the company for several years, and the company benefited from their work, they’d be rewarded with pay raises and promotions. If they stayed with the company long enough, they’d have a pension and a 401K.

This was the bargain struck between an employee and company in the old days: you work hard and in exchange, we’ll give you security and stability.

Now, boomers expect millennials to work for the same bargain. They think millennials want to progress too fast and aren’t paying their dues, which comes off as lazy. Boomers also assume millennials are flighty and don’t stay in their roles with any kind of commitment. What boomers don’t realize is the other end of the deal they had, the end that’s supposed to be a payoff for the employee, isn’t there anymore.

It’s a whole new world out there, and boomers have to recognize that if they’re going to successfully manage millennials.

They also have to understand what millennials actually want.

Because millennials don’t expect to stay with a company for the long term, their interest is in what can benefit them now.

This doesn’t come from an inability to commit. It’s the result of massive turnover rates, an unstable economy, and a more competitive business environment.

What millennials are learning from their work experience is they will inevitably get fired, let go, shut down, or need to look elsewhere for personal growth. They expect to leave a position in a very short amount of time, so they want to get paid competitively and want to take on more responsibility quickly. They treat work as a way to build their own professional equity and skill set as future bargaining chips so when it’s time to move on, they’re prepared.

Professional services companies like consulting firms, investment banks and law firms have already found a way to tap into this mindset by offering skills development and mentorship. In some ways, they’re preparing their staff to move on to other companies, but they’re also getting an intense level of hard work from millennials in the meantime. In some cases, the employee feels invested and stays long-term.

Tech companies also understand the benefit of this investment and fight to recruit then keep millennial talent. For example, Google also currently sends employees to conferences and boot camps to improve their skills. This is another way to tap into millennial aspirations for a mutual benefit. The team feels like they’re getting skills they can apply anywhere, and the company gets a return on their investment.

While this is one example of what a new bargain could look like, it’s not the only one.

There are other ways to tap into a millennial’s aspirations, but they don’t come from mind-reading.

Boomers managing millennials need to understand their employment relationship is going to be short, so they have to cut to the point. Conversations around what the employee wants from a job need to happen as early as the interview in order to continue motivating throughout the working relationship.

Some questions to ask include:

  • What does the employee want from us?
  • What are we providing the employee in exchange?
  • What does the employee want in the long term? The short-term?
  • What do they want from their career?
  • What kinds of goals do they have outside of work?

Once a boomer has answers to a few of these, they can start to craft a mutually beneficial working relationship with their millennial staff. This means having regular conversations between employee and employer about what each side wants from the role going forward and how the two can help each other in the best way.

One thing I do at Codex Protocol is have monthly meetings with each employee. We don’t talk about their projects or what they’ve accomplished. I limit the conversations strictly to what they want going forward and how I can help them achieve that. I’ve noticed in my millennial employees, they work the hardest when I’ve given them chances to do work, achieve goals, and build their resume toward what they want long-term.

There’s a way to build mutually beneficial relationships between generations, and it comes from compromise on both sides. When given tasks that make them feel like they’re building toward something, millennials will work to help boomers’ businesses grow. Bridging the communication gap between these two generations can lead to greater outcomes on all sides, and maybe we can finally put a stop to all those think pieces about millennial work ethic.

Via BenefitsPro : 3 ways millennials and Gen Z will put pressure on benefit costs

As these generations make up a greater percentage of the workforce, employers will need to re-evaluate their health and employee benefits offerings.

In tracking employer benefits offerings for compliance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did something unheard of in the past: it required employers to aggregate and better manage complex workforce data from unrelated payroll, benefits administration and HRIS systems. This data aggregation brought with it many new opportunities for employer groups: With new insights stemming from ACA compliance and reporting data, employers can gain a deeper understanding of how to use benefits and operational strategies to optimize their workforce.

For the first time in U.S. history, up to five generations are employed in the same workplace, suggesting that there is a wide range of differences in what employees will expect and need from their employers in the years to come. The two youngest generations, millennials and Generation Z, together make up 40 percent of the employee population and their numbers are rising.

As employees in these generations age and become a greater percentage of the workforce, they’ll put more pressure on benefits costs in three distinct ways: 1) Increased enrollment in employer plans, 2) choosing better benefits, and 3) opting for family plans. They will also challenge your company’s retention strategies, forcing the need to re-evaluate your health and employee benefits offerings to achieve the engagement and retention results you’re looking for.

By integrating the same data sources used to comply and report on the ACA—HRIS, benefits and payroll—new insights can be gained. Analyses shared within the Health e(fx) 2018 Insights Report reveal some unique findings on the benefit preferences shown by different generations.

For example, millennials and Gen Z are less likely to enroll in employer-sponsored coverage than employees from older generations. And, when they enroll, millennials and Gen Z workers are more likely to choose benefits with a lower actuarial value, meaning the benefits are cheaper but will also cover a lower percentage of their medical costs. However, as these two generations age, they will impact your budget through:

1. Increased enrollment

Currently 35 percent of Gen Z and 77 percent of millennial employees are ACA eligible for benefits. Of those, only 26 percent of eligible Gen Z employees and 68 percent of millennials are enrolling in employer-sponsored coverage. There are multiple factors that could be impacting this lower enrollment. Due to their stage of life, these younger generation employees are less likely to face significant or chronic health challenges.

Because some millennials and most Gen Z employees are still eligible to be covered under a parents’ health insurance plan, many are not enrolling in their own employer-sponsored benefits, yet. But in the next five years, nearly one in five employees enrolled in family health coverage will have a millennial or Gen Z dependent age out of parental coverage.

2. Choosing better benefits

Every health insurance plan is assigned a metal level—Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum—based on actuarial value (percent of covered medical costs that a plan will pay). Plans with a higher actuarial value (such as Gold and Platinum) pay a higher percent of medical costs, but their premium costs are also higher.

A higher percent of employees in these two younger generations select a Bronze-level plan (with the lowest actuarial value) than workers in other generations. In fact, 27 percent of Gen Z and 16 percent of millennials are enrolled in a Bronze plan in comparison to 12 percent of Gen X or 10 percent of Mid Boomers. This means that currently, these younger employees are more likely to have lower premiums for their coverage.

3. Increased family tier coverage

Both younger generations have lower enrollment in family tier coverage with only 30 percent of eligible millennials and 6 percent of Gen Z enrolled in family coverage versus 55 percent of Gen X. As the younger generations age, based on stage of life, more employees in these generations will opt for family coverage.

Why do these factors matter? Because benefits impact retention – but only if your employees enroll to take advantage of those benefits. According to our analysis, the average tenure overall for employees who are not enrolled in health benefits is 3.1 years versus 6.7 years for those enrolled in employee-only coverage and 9.7 years for those enrolled in family coverage. On average, length of tenure also increases with better benefits—as the actuarial value of benefits increase, so does tenure.

As these generations age, employers will have to revisit their benefits strategies to ensure they’re offering quality and affordable coverage to keep these generations invested in staying in one place – at your company. These younger employees are more likely than previous generations to change jobs in an attempt to achieve the wage and benefits that would enable them to live the lifestyle they desire. With the younger generations soon dominating the workforce, their increased enrollment and transition to better benefits and family coverage may impact your budget, and the longevity of your workforce.

Via Independent : How understanding the needs of millennial employees can improve your business

Q As an employer and a manager of Generation X, who manages a workforce of millennials, I would like to understand them better. Is there any information you can give me which will give me a better insight into how to understand millennials?

A Millennials is the name given to those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s and it is expected that they will make up 75pc of the workforce by 2025. Millennials were the first to grow up and work in the digital age and so the way in which they remain engaged and motivated in their employment journeys is different to the generations before them such as Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Millennials know that getting the job done is about being innovative and working across fields. They are optimistic, confident, committed and can be hugely creative. Largely they are well educated, determined and driven. Furthering their education is of great importance to them and career progression, training opportunities, and personal development are considered far more important than financial reward. They consider work-life balance as key to their career.

They ensure that the company mission aligns with their own ideals and ambitions. They want to know that they will be a valued member of the workforce and will be given the opportunity to grow and develop within the company.

More and more, we are seeing how millennials demand more flexible working hours and, with advanced technology, companies have proved this can be a success.

The best way to maximise the millennial’s potential is by giving them clear instructions, a timeframe to get the work done and the scope to use their initiative. Employers should be aware of the importance of employee engagement and personal development plans to the millennial. Employee engagement involves team-building, motivation, and empowerment together.

Personal development plans can be created following the annual or biannual performance appraisal. Performance appraisals are an opportunity to discuss individual performance and provide detailed feedback. It’s important to note that millennials are less likely to remain in a company as a loyal employee if they feel their personal goals and ideals are not being fulfilled, so this must be considered for talent retention purposes, given there has been an increase in employment opportunities in recent years.

If as an employer you are ensuring to effectively manage your millennial employees, this would also ensure there is an increase in employee engagement. Benefits of employee engagement include increased productivity, producing ultimately better results. Employees are happier, more engaged and more involved in achieving the aims and goals of the business.

In an attempt to understand millennials better, I think it’s important to review the results of a Deloitte survey conducted this year. It outlined that many millennials take on a business’s motivations and ethics. One of the most worrying results from the survey also outlined the dangers of business leaders losing their strongest millennial workers as a result of their goals and valued not being aligned.

According to the survey, only 48pc of millennials now believe corporations behave ethically. This has fallen from 68pc based on the same survey which was conducted last year. This fall is also accompanied by a 15pc decrease in the number of millennials that believe employers are committed to helping improve society. Although millennials are aware that profits are a priority in business, they also believe that companies should focus on a broader balance of objectives such as making a positive influence on society.

If employers want to retain talent, they will need to start showing their employees that they can make a positive change both within the business, society and the world. If employers fail to acknowledge the changing trend, talented employees will look for employment with a company that does. There is a lot of conflicting information out there based on millennials as employees. Although it has been shown that they share values in relation to their employment, they can’t all be painted with the same brush and must be individually managed and motivated.

Via Forbes : The Millennial Workforce Needs Mentors, Not Managers

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force and will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025. Not only that, Millennials now have the most spending power of any generation, which means that creating a work environment that they can thrive in matters more than ever.

As a Millennial who worked in corporate for several years before calling it quits, I’ve first-hand witnessed the many ways in which companies adhere to outdated norms, many which are still tailored to older generations. This stands particularly when it comes to management.

Today’s workers don’t need some Big Brother figure hovering over us to tell us that budgets are cut, that we will be in big trouble if we don’t meet deadlines, and to “make do with less.” We need leaders who set us up for success, instill in us a sense of bigger purpose, and give us the confidence we need to persevere when the work gets challenging.Corporate culture in the U.S. is changing in a big way, and companies who pay attention and adapt to these changes will be the ones attracting the most talented, passionate, and dedicated employees.

Millennials don’t want (nor will respond to) an archaic management system that dictates rules and constraints – this generation craves mentors that guide and inspire them. Management can help the rising Millennial workforce thrive by:

Creating a relationship of trust and understanding. Management should empower and build the confidence of its employees. This means no guilt trips, blaming, or pressuring. Employees should feel free to approach their managers and speak openly with them without intimidation, while still respecting employer-employee boundaries.

We no longer live in a world where it’s possible to completely leave our work at home. People deal with personal issues all the time, and management should have some level of sensitivity towards that instead of pretending that the separation between life and work is an impenetrable brick wall. For example, context is important – perhaps someone isn’t performing because they had a recent family death, and that does not mean they’re incompetent.

Employees should feel that management won’t turn its back on them the second something goes wrong. When people feel understood and part of something bigger than themselves, they will go to greater lengths to excel in their work.

This mentorship dynamic builds way more trust and loyalty than a raise or bonus ever could, as it cultivates a mutual relationship instead of a transaction. Knowing that management has their back is priceless and will benefit both parties in the long run.

Letting people fail… and helping them get back up. Ideally, mistakes in the workplace are avoided altogether as some can be very costly and put the company in jeopardy. If that is not the case, however, mistakes should be approached as opportunities for learning and improvement.

Mentors should teach employees to take responsibility for their actions, as well as accountability to fix what goes wrong. Most people won’t thrive with finger pointing, blaming, or winded lectures: we need to be made aware that we’ve made a mistake, given the confidence that we are capable of fixing it and receive the support to do so.

By guilting or threatening employees, there is a good chance that they will develop fear or apprehension towards the task they originally “failed” in, which only makes the situation worse and poorly sets them to deal with future mistakes. Mentors should push employees so they’re exiting their comfort zone (which means failure is a possibility), but at the same time guide and set them up for success. That way, when someone does inevitably make a mistake, he or she knows how to deal with it responsibly and confidently.

Giving space for growth. People operate differently when it comes to getting into their zone of genius. Allow them to practice freedom and accountability when it comes to their working style: for example, why not allow an employee to work remotely, from a coffee shop, or in the nighttime if that is how they best excel in their tasks? Have a detailed discussion on what they personally need to thrive in the workplace, and as long as it does not interfere with the quality of the work, let them do it.

Management should not push employees to work a specific way, as that will stifle them and therefore affect their ability to perform. If an employee works best out of coffee shops and you make him or her feel guilty about leaving the office, the overall productivity of the team will suffer.

The gist of it is: allow people to be themselves and create the environment they need in order to thrive, and they most likely will. Coerce them to do things a certain way, and they’ll likely resent management and subconsciously (or consciously) sabotage the work.

When it comes to the Millennial workforce, focus on the results and not the method in which they are achieved. In the end, the companies who stay up-to-date with their workforce’s needs and desires will be those who make the most profit and have a societal impact.

Via Stuff : Millennials set to take over the workforce by 2020

It’s the generation the other generations like to rag on.

But in just a few years, Millennials – those born between 1982 and 2004 – will be the dominant force in workplaces around New Zealand.

Millennials are often accused of speaking another language, always on their cellphone, and invested in social media, but they are also driven, fast-paced workers who can multi-task effectively.

Price Waterhouse Coopers commissioned a survey looking at this group across 75 countries which found career progression was a top priority for millennials, and they preferred to communicate through technology, rather than face-to-face or even over the telephone.

It also said millennials development and work/life balance was more important than financial reward, and there was a strong appetite for travelling and working overseas.

But loyalty to their employer was not a priority, with 54 per cent saying they would expect to have two to five employers over their work life. They were comfortable working with older generations, but thought senior management didn’t relate to younger workers and their personal drive was intimidating to other generations.

Businesses are having to keep up and adapt with the influx of millennials into the corporate work force.

New Zealand global software company Xero employs a lot of millennials.

It has bean bags and gaming consoles, and modern training and development programmes.

Xero graduate team lead Suraksha Setty, 25, looks after the new graduates and interns, including interviews, inductions, training, performance reviews and fortnightly catch-ups to make sure they’re on the right track and settling in.

Apart from technical training, Xero also has “soft skills” training, which focuses on public speaking, meet ups outside of work, interaction with other companies and learning about diversity in the work place.

It is about creating balance, Setty said.

“While we treat everyone the same, the majority are young people [at the Auckland office] which is really awesome. There is a lot of support for the younger talent.

“We are such a modern tech company, so the forward-thinking nature that young people bring is fitting for the environment we’re in. We’re encouraged to speak up and share our opinions and ideas. Feeling valued is really novel in the workforce.”

She said new grads and interns are paired with a senior person in their team who helps show them the ropes. Team members come from a range of backgrounds in gender, age, cultures and ethnicities.

Xero communications advisor Isabella Couwenberg​ has tried hard not to label herself a millennial.

“But of course, given my birthdate, I am a millennial,” the 23 year old said. “I do think that millennials get a bad rap, which is a very “millennial” thing of me to say.”

The term is associated with negative connotations and stereotypes, she said. Generalisations were “a bit unfair”.

One stereotype is they expect a trophy for showing up to work and want special privileges, she said.

“We’re very technology abled, as well as willing to embrace new ideas. We’re able to work well under pressure and juggle a range of tasks as well as move at pace. We operate in a quick thinking environment with a lot of hustle, which I enjoy.

“I thrive under pressure so it’s great. I’m really lucky in that I get to work with a lot of senior people who can learn so much from and I’m good at putting my hand up, which is perhaps something that the more reserved older generations didn’t do so much.”

Auckland University of Technology, University Director of Diversity, Professor Edwina​ Pio said it’s a two-way street, and organisations and millennials must work together for the success of the company.

“Employers have to understand it is a vastly changing landscape. You must take risks on young people, but you can’t do the same training and development you’ve done in the past.

“Millennials expect a variety of different kinds of training. You can’t use old models – it’s not going to work.They are very driven and we shouldn’t extinguish their flame.”

Millennials currently accounted for 34 per cent of New Zealand’s labour force and by 2020 would be the majority.

“They are our future leaders, our future CEOs, our business leaders who walk the corridors of power.”