In the new business environment, priorities of employees are changing at a very rapid pace. The millennials make up the bulk of the work-force and their share in the total workforce is expected to rise over the next 10 years. Business policies and strategies thus have to be built around them – what they expect, what they demand and what they are happy with. It makes sense for employers to try and understand this group so that they can build a satisfied team that works efficiently and productively.
The attitude of the millennials towards work is quite different from that of the older generation. Traditionally, employees worked because they needed to – they needed to earn money to look after their families, to pay bills, to send their children to school, to put food on the table etc. For them jobs were a necessity, they were fundamental requirements for their existence and consequently they stayed in jobs even if they were not happy at the workplace.
Totally different approach to work
Millennials have a totally different approach to work. They work not because they need to do so, but because they want to do so. Work is not a critical element in their lives, rather it is something they desire because they enjoy it, because work brings them the happiness they wish for. Though millennials are reputed to work mainly for money, they say that, for them, it is more important that the work be meaningful. They say that they want to make a difference more than they wish for financial success.
Another factor that is affecting the workplace is that today and in the future of work, companies need skilled, talented people a lot more than these people need company jobs (which was the way earlier when people needed jobs). Organizations in the future of work have to understand and act on this. With a change in the priorities and thinking of the millennials, companies also have to modify their attitude and thinking whether it is with regard to recruiting, training, appointing employees or with respect to planning their career growth.
Space to do their own thing
Millennials ( and the succeeding generation of workers i.e. the Generation Z people) desire freedom and autonomy. They want to be given the space to do their own thing, they do not like to work under others. They want the liberty to indulge their creativity, they want to experiment and try new approaches, new techniques, new styles of working, they want flexible working hours and they want to work, not in formal office spaces but in casual, easy, comfortable surroundings that allow them to handle things at their convenience.
When organizations grow in size they tend to become more rigid and bureaucratic and this situation is neither good for the company nor does it make future workers comfortable. Flexibility is a key ingredient for organizational success in the future of work. If companies value their employees and give them what they want, they can attract and retain the best hands. Salaries and monetary perks are important but values, performance, freedom and responsibility are ranked higher by the workers of the future. They work because they want to not because they need to. They are happiest and give their peak performance when they get what they want from the company.