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Misunderstood Millenials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business

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Misunderstood Millenials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business

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• What Millennials value most in the workplace (hint: it’s not ping-pong tables)
• Why culture significantly affects Millennials’ decisions about where they work
• Ways you can engage this new workforce at your own organization

• What Millennials value most in the workplace (hint: it’s not ping-pong tables)
• Why culture significantly affects Millennials’ decisions about where they work
• Ways you can engage this new workforce at your own organization

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Misunderstood Millenials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business

  1. 1. HowtheNewestWorkforce isEvolvingBusiness 2015PULSESURVEY Misunderstood Millennials:
  2. 2. 1 Howe, Neil and William Strauss. “Millennials Rising.” 2000. 2 Pew Research Center. “This year, Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers.” 2015. Millennials. As soon as the term gets thrown into conversation, a line’s drawn in the sand – and you’ve likely already given a wistful smile or an over-indulged eye roll at the mere mention of them. Even defining the Millennial generation sparks a debate. But according to Strauss and Howe,1 the generational theorists who coined the term, Millennials are those born between 1982 and 2004. Meaning? A Millennial could be anyone from an established, mid-career level employee to one still nervously awaiting the first day of high school. Focusing only on those Millennials recently entrenched in the workforce and the ones just now entering it, you may think of this new workforce fondly – or they might make your skin crawl. You may applaud their progressive ideologies and penchants for group-based activities with colleagues. Or maybe the words lazy, distracted, and entitled are all tip of the tongue. In reality, Millennials are misunderstood. They’re a tech-savvy, socially-connected generation with a passion for their work. And with this generation surpassing even Baby Boomers in size,2 the workplace as you know it is changing – and your company needs to evolve right along with it. Virgin Pulse’s latest survey of more than 1,000 U.S.-based, full-time Millennial employees (not Virgin Pulse members) uncovers who Millennials really are, and what they want out of the companies they work for. Read our survey report to learn: • What Millennials value most in the workplace (hint: it’s not ping-pong tables) • Why culture significantly affects Millennials’ decisions about where they work • Ways you can engage this new workforce at your own organization Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.2
  3. 3. When it comes to the workplace, every employee values salary. But for Millennials, it goes beyond just the paycheck. So what do Millennials really value? Your company’s culture – something 77 percent of survey respondents think is just as or more important than salary and benefits. With the average Millennial remaining at a job for less than three years3 – and annual onboarding per employee costing employers $100,0004 – your culture is essential in curbing costs and retaining the top talent of this new workforce. Ping-pong tables and catered lunches might often be associated with Millennials, but that’s not what they’re really after. They value fun, engaging cultures. And while the above are nice perks, real company culture is about so much more. Cultureisking forMillennials 3 Future Workplace. “Multiple Generations at Work.” 2012. 4 Allied HR IQ. “2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey: Recruiting and Relocation.” 2012. think flexible hours are important think company culture is just as or more important than salary and benefits think it’s important or very important that their organization has a mission they can stand behind 80% 77% 73% What Millennials value most in the workplace: Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.3
  4. 4. Shared values and collaborative environments that support an organization’s mission – and the problems it’s trying to solve – are fundamental to great cultures. And Millennials agree. They seek meaningful work and want to understand, and align with, their organization’s mission – something 73 percent of those surveyed said was important or very important. Many businesses meet this need, but there’s room to grow. Seventy-five percent of respondents know their company’s mission, and 73 percent think it’s important their company has one they can stand behind. Tip: Aculturethattakescareofemployees – something valued by 61 percent of those surveyed – will help attract and retain top Millennial talent. Understand the values of your workforce, from newly hired Millennials to veteran Baby Boomers, as you begin purposefully designing a culture that supports all areas of your employees’ well-being. Perks are nice, but a well-defined mission that’s upheld by senior leadership and new hires alike will allow Millennials to stay focused on helping your organization achieve its goals. Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.4
  5. 5. When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, Millennials will be keeping a sharp eye on your organization’s benefits. Eighty-six percent of survey respondents say good benefits are important or very important when deciding to take or stay at a job – compared to only 57 percent of Baby Boomers, according to a different survey.5 But the definition of “good benefits” goes well beyond traditional health/dental coverage and paid time off (PTO). It’s true: recent Millennials in the workforce are often saddled with debt – and 23 percent of respondents say student loans are their largest financial stressor. It’s unsurprising, then, that 64 percent of respondents think tuition reimbursement is a good benefit. Growing up in a recession, many Millennials witnessed their parents’ retirement plans take a hit, making them hyper-aware that financial well-being is critical for their future, as indicated by the 88 percent of respondents who identified a retirement savings plan as a good benefit. Ameaningful jobisa lastingone 5 Society for Human Resource Management. “Workplace Visions.” Vol. I. 2014. Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.5
  6. 6. Though the self-centered Millennial stereotype persists – it’s not always the employee seen in today’s workplace. Instead, the Millennials walking through your company’s front doors are often the drivers of innovation and change. Ninety percent of respondents say they want to use their skills for good. Millennials are also looking to grow and expand on their existing skill set, according to the 58 percent of respondents who say skill-building is a good benefit to have at an organization. But as another survey found, 28 percent of Millennials don’t think their skill-sets are being fully put to use in their current workplace.6 This highlights the opportunity to take advantage of Millennial’s untapped skills, but how those talents grow and develop depends on your approach to professional development. 6 Deloitte. “Mind the gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey.” 2015. 7 IBM Corporation. “The Value of Training.” 2014 Tip: It’seasyforyoutoturnyour workplaceintoaclassroom – and with 26 percent of respondents wanting career advancement training and 21 percent looking to learn skills directly related to their job function, it’s something to turn your attention toward. As employees are 30 times more likely to leave their company if they feel their goals are not achievable,7 supporting skill-building is key. Offer professional development trainings and seminars in the workplace, and give employees opportunities to tackle new and challenging projects. Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.6
  7. 7. health/dental/vision coverage want to use their skills for good think philanthropy or volunteer endeavors are important or very important in deciding to take a job PTO retirement savings plan career advancement/ management training well-being support tuition reimbursement skills directly related or related but tangential to my job function skill-building opportunities What’smeaningfultoMillennialsatwork? What’s considered a “good” benefit? What do you want to do with your skills? What types of learning opportunities do you want your job to provide? 96% 90% 39% 95% 88% 26% 61% 64% 42% 58% Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.7
  8. 8. The 9 to 5 workday is a thing of the past – at least for Millennials. Thanks to modern technology, Millennials are used to working in an entirely different way. And flexibility’s a big part of that. Half of all Millennials surveyed say technology lets them work from anywhere and remain productive. And 80 percent think that flexible work hours are important. Only 11 percent of employees have their best ideas in the office, according to a different survey.8 And with a 13 percent bump in employee productivity when they work remotely,9 you may want to begin rethinking your flexible work policies. Flexibilityisthenewnorm say tech allows them to more quickly complete tasks and to-do’s say it helps them better balance personal and professional responsibilities say it allows them to work from anywhere while still being productive say it helps them respond to pressing needs in a more timely manner 80% 55% 50% 67% WhatflexibilitymeansforMillennials: 8 Ipsos MORI. “Captains of industry Survey.” 2000. 9 Bloom, Nicholas, James Liang, John Roberts, Zhichun Jenny Ying. Standford University. “Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment.” 2014 Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.8
  9. 9. The use of technology is key to understanding Millennials’ approach to their workday. Eighty percent of respondents feel technology helps them get their work done quickly, and 67 percent say it helps them respond in a timely manner to work-related communications. Modern life is hectic and – due in part to technology – the lines between work and home have blurred for today’s employees. But it’s that same technology that Millennials say helps them achieve better balance, with 55 percent of respondents saying technology helps them balance personal and professional responsibilities throughout their day. Like culture, flexibility in the workplace can prove even more valuable than numbers on a pay stub. A separate study found that 45 percent of Millennials say they would choose workplace flexibility over pay.10 10 Millennial Branding. “The Cost of Millennial Retention Study.” 2013. 11 The Agile Future Forum. “Findings.” 2014. Web. Tip: Theterms“Millennial”and“digital”are synonymousforareason. Using technology to influence flexibility in your workplace doesn’t necessarily mean texting with Millennial colleagues on the weekends – though 66 percent of respondents say they text their bosses about work. Offer flexible work policies, paired with software, devices, and programs that help employees make meaningful progress on the work that matters. You’ll help support employee work/life balance and drive their productivity – all while potentially cutting costs at your organization by as much as 13 percent.11 Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.9
  10. 10. Working toward a company’s mission, staying connected to technology to drive productivity while balancing work and home life, and finding meaning in challenging work can have Millennials burning out before they know it. In fact, 39 percent of Millennials already feel more stressed out than last year, according to another study.12 Unplugging from work lets employees relax, recharge, and spend quality time with the people who matter most to them – an area of well-being that 56 percent of respondents say they want their companies to care about and provide benefits and resources to support. It’s also critical for keeping their stress levels in check. Though 27 percent of respondents say being connected to technology doesn’t affect their ability to rest or recharge, their more experienced colleagues might say otherwise. A constant connection with technology means employees are never truly away from their work, which leads to an increase in anxiety and decline in productivity and work quality. And before long, employees could burnout – and their tired demeanor will begin to infect the energy of your company culture, too.13 Preventburnout beforeit’stoolate 12 American Psychological Association. “Stress in America.” 2013. 13 Virgin Pulse. “Moving on Up: Keeping Culture as Your Company Scales.” 2015. agree it’s okay to be connected to work in off-hours in some capacity are more stressed than last year2 claim being connected to tech doesn’t affect their ability to rest or recharge work every day of vacation3 of Millennials believe PTO is a good benefit feel guilty taking time off1 Warningsignsforburnout but 93% 39% 27% 34% 95% 40% 1 Alamo Rent a Car. “Alamo Family Vacation Survey.” 2015. 2 American Psychological Association. “Stress in America.” 2013. 3 Alamo Rent a Car. “Alamo Family Vacation Survey.” 2015. Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.10
  11. 11. Another reason for their stress levels may lie in how they’re spending time away. When it comes to vacation, our survey found that 95 percent of respondents value PTO, but according to a different report, as many as 40 percent feel guilty about taking time off.14 With 93 percent of those surveyed saying it’s OK to be connected to work in off-hours in some capacity, and another survey15 revealing that 34 percent say they work every day of vacation, this should be a red flag. Still only in their 20s and early 30s, most Millennials haven’t been in the workplace long enough to experience the damaging effects of burnout, and they could easily get blindsided if its effects set in. Millennials want to work hard, but they need help finding the balance in their careers and home lives. 14 Alamo Rent a Car. “Alamo Family Vacation Survey.” 2015. 15 Ibid Tip: Helpemployeesdisconnect by encouraging them to step away from their devices when the workday’s done so they can have a chance to decompress. Don’t discredit the value in taking time off, either. More than an added benefit, scheduling time away from work is critical to keeping burnout at bay. The same goes for flexible policies – like clarity around email expectations or allowing remote working opportunities – which can help employees better balance their priorities at work and home. Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.11
  12. 12. Millennialsaretoday’smoversandshakers,and they’reevolvingtheworkplace. They value company culture and flexibility in their roles at work. Technology helps them stay productive while balancing obligations at work and home, but it can also lead to burnout. Take care of the Millennials in your workforce – and your Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, too – by offering tools, resources, and programs that help them form healthy habits across all areas of well-being. You’ll help them stay balanced in all aspects of life, encourage their engagement and productivity, and let their true potential and your business thrive in the many years to come. Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, replenishes employees with tools that help them build better habits. With its award-winning, online platform, the company cultivates daily habits and sustainable behavior change that help people thrive at work and across all aspects of life. Unlike narrowly- focused employee health and engagement solutions, Virgin Pulse creates more meaningful habits and drives greater utilization across HR investments, delivering a better quality of life for employees and better health, increased productivity, and improved culture for employers. More than 250 industry leaders representing more than 2 million employees have selected Virgin Pulse’s programs to replenish their people and ignite their business. Learn more at www.virginpulse.com. 877-331-9988 facebook.com/virginpulse twitter.com/VirginPulse linkedin.com/company/virgin-pulse Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business © Virgin Pulse 2015. All rights reserved.12

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