Warning:  The Millennials are Taking Control of the Workplace

from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series
By Bob Moore, CMC, Managing Principal, The Talent Management Institute

millenials workplace

According to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, more than one in three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015).  Last year, the millennial labor force surpassed the Baby Boomers as they steadily retire.   As the 53.5 million-strong millennial workforce has risen rapidly, they surpassed Generation X and became the largest share of the American workforce in the first quarter of 2015.

This is as wake-up call. Millennials are taking control of the workforce.  Millennials first entered the work force in 1998 and are now flooding the job market.  Many are rising through the management ranks. This is a good news/bad news situation.  The good news is they are replacements for the baby boomers that we feared would leave a deep hole in the workforce.  The bad news is Millennials (aka Gen Y) are more difficult to recruit and retain. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that average millennial job tenure is just 4.4 years.

Combining low employment tenure and a tight candidate market will make your talent management tasks more challenging.  Many authorities agree that to meet these challenges, you must begin to think like a millennial.  They not only represent the essence of the knowledge worker Peter Drucker warned us about in the early 70s, they also have a very different worldview. This means you must adapt your talent management strategies to align with Gen Y’s unique perspective and expectations.

At a minimum, your appeal to millennials must consider the following:

  1. Money
    They expect to be well paid, particularly Top Talent. Additionally, they will require a menu of “Best Places to Work” type perks. You must be an employer of choice to succeed with them.
  2. Measurement
    The standard performance appraisal is out the window. It has been already but you now must complete the shift to coach-based leadership with real time performance feedback and coaching.
  3. Matter
    Unlike prior generations, the Gen Y workforce need to know how their work matters. The facts are clear:  the 2014 Creative Jobs Report based on Harris Poll data, indicated that 35 percent of millennials feel it’s important to have a job with a positive social impact, compared to only 19 percent of the total workforce. Your company must practice both social responsibility and make positive contributions to your community.

Take Action
I recommend you immediately revisit your talent management strategy.  Click on the button below to get the just released special report about the Total Talent Management System

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Bob Moore, CMC
Managing Principal

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