The entry of Millennials into the workforce is changing organizations’ software needs and policies, says a new national study from Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI) and The Center for Generational Kinetics. The study of 1,000 respondents found that technology is the most important factor to successfully dividing or bridging the gap between different age groups within organizations.
“We are seeing the pervasiveness of consumer mobile and social platforms completely alter the corporate business environment,” said Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate Software. “The workforce is changing. In the next couple of years, for the first time ever, there will be more ‘Gen Y’ or Millennial workers in the workforce than any other generation. Employers need to keep up if they’re going to make the most of this new generation — by knowing what these emerging workers expect and demand from their employers in order to accept a job and stay at a job. What the study found was employers must make sure the systems they use for things like recruiting, payroll, benefits, and time tracking match actual employee expectations by generation.”
In order for organizations to stay competitive in the changing climate, leaders need to understand these generational differences and needs in all aspects of the business, including in terms of recruiting, application processes, the working environment and communication among team members. This frequently involves new training methods and unfortunately many of these methods do not transfer to improved team skills.
“There are some important differences between Millennials and other generations, but the most important thing we learned is overall adoption of consumer mobile and social technologies is changing the expectations of the entire workforce, regardless of age,” said Rogers. “For example, employees across all generations now have the expectation that HR and payroll systems are extremely fast and efficient. They don’t expect to be asked to enter the same piece of information more than once, and they expect the system to be as easy to navigate as a consumer application. This has implications for everything from recruiting and onboarding to talent development and retention.”
Through team building strategies, training and new multi-generational techniques, leaders can keep up with the changing environment, utilize new technologies and appeal to different age groups.
Offer feedback. No matter what rung an employee is standing on on the corporate ladder, they require feedback to grow as a team member and get better. For Millennials, who have been trained to expect technology in the workplace, offering feedback through performance appraisal software is an excellent way to standardize criteria and offer fair and objective feedback, says Performance Reviews: How to Give GenY the Feedback They Really Need. Tell Millennials how they are doing, and they will work to improve their performances.
Hold team members accountable. According to Preparing Young People for Work Today, team members need to be held accountable for the expectations placed upon them, and they need to reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their actions. In this way, employees learn to act independently, make informed decisions and require less supervision from leaders. Help younger employees to develop these skills for a better long-term working environment. Training is critical for this strategy so take measures to ensure your team training transfers.
Build an age-diverse staff. When building a team, it is important to include members from every age group to ensure a balance of insight and new perspectives, says How to Balance Youth and Experience when Building your Staff. Older workers are valuable because they have histories of success and past experiences to turn to for decisions. But younger workers are valuable as well because they understand how the working environment is changing and can help organizations keep up with current technological trends. Both age groups should be represented for teams and organizations to be successful in the changing environment.
“Millennials are the first generation in the workforce that have come of age dependent on mobile and social technology,” said Jason Dorsey, Millennials researcher, chief strategy officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics, and a bestselling Millennial author. “As a result, they bring a different relationship with technology into the workplace. They are used to a fast-paced and on-demand environment. As a result they are causing a major shift in the expectations of HCM technology. What Millennials want or expect is now rippling across all generations of employees, creating never-before-seen challenges and opportunities for even the most experienced executive, HR practitioner, and manager. The businesses that will win in this new workforce reality will be the ones that adopt the latest technology systems for recruiting, HR, payroll, and talent management to attract and retain these workers.”
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
About TIGERS Success Series, Inc.
TIGERS Success Series is an Oregon Team Building Consultant headquartered in Bend, Oregon. TIGERS helps leaders build teams of employees who enjoy returning to work after a couple of days off. Based on cooperative and collaborative team based culture, TIGERS licenses HRD professionals and other consultants in the use of TIGERS proprietary team and leadership development resources.