Is your workplace millennialized?

Travel industry enterprise mobility CSC Blogs

Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S., according to Census data released in April. Not surprisingly, they also are the largest generation in the workforce.

As of the first quarter of 2015, there were 53.5 million millennials in the workforce, according to Pew Research Center, comprising about 34 percent of all U.S. workers.

Every generation likes to think it’s unique, but make no mistake: Millennials actually are, and in ways that impact how they do their jobs, which tools they prefer to use and whether they actually care about following any rules or guidelines suggested by IT.

Since Millennials will be approaching 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2020, IT professionals must understand the expectations, habits and preferences of these workers — or risk making them less productive, less happy in their jobs and ultimately more likely to leave.

A 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey concludes:

Millennials, in general, express little loyalty to their current employers and many are planning near-term exits. This remarkable absence of allegiance represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of Millennials, especially those in markets—like the United States—where Millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce.

So what can IT do to make their enterprises attractive places to work for Millennials? Here are some clues from the Society for Human Resource Management:

While they’re more pragmatic than members of Generation X and the Baby Boomers, members of Generation Y are early adopters of mobile, digital technology and will purchase apps and systems that simplify their lives at home and at work. … Millennials want “frictionless experiences” between the digital and real world.

The bottom line for enterprise IT professionals is that this emerging majority of workers has strong technology preferences, a desire for flexibility in work environments and schedules and a desire for easy collaboration and information sharing. IT can meet many of these needs by deploying cloud-based technologies, ensuring secure support for mobile devices and apps and providing tools that enable remote work, collaboration and data access.

While some forward-looking enterprises already are doing these things, others still are dragging their feet. As we move beyond smartphones and tablets in the enterprise to wearables, contextual applications and even robots, IT must anticipate and prepare to integrate and support the technologies preferred by the generation that will comprise 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. Or pay the consequences.

Is your enterprise “millennialized”?


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  1. Since obsessing over millennials seems to be everyone’s favorite pastime these days, no one who hasn’t been living on Neptune for the past decade will be shocked or surprised by any of this. Of course millennials are all about mobile tech — we *all* are, but they take it for granted more so than their elders. They came of age during the smartphone and cloud revolutions, and most are too young to remember a world in which the internet was not a major presence. And is it really a stunner that millennials aren’t loyal to employers? They survived the Great Recession, they’ve seen their parents get laid off or forced into early “retirement,” and they know that their jobs are secure only until the next round of downsizing. Loyalty is a two-way street.

    • geosupergirl says:

      As a millenial myself (depending upon what you read) I agree with what Brian says and Chris’ blog. We have also seen computers come to life, gaming become addictive and technology from our favourite movies come to life. What we also have experienced is a generation of parents and mentors from the Baby Boomer generation whom are very loyal to an employer within their careers! Seeing this does make us want to be loyal but I think it divides our generation into two those that jump every 2-3 years to climb the career ladder and those that yearn loyalty and are in it for the people and culture, patietly waiting for the opportunities. There is also a location element at play here. The change in travelling the world and the ease of which we can now do this certainly has an effect on the Millenial generation we are much more mobile. Love this discussion.

  2. I see the term “Millennial” and Gen X” thrown around in a log of blogs, and articles all over the net. But I have yet to see a clear (underline clear) definition of what the terms mean. There doesn’t seem to be any standard definition. I’m no journalism student, but it seems the first rule of thumb in journalism, blog-ism, tweet-ism, (whatever your term) is to make sure your readers clearly know what you are describing. And it would not have been that hard to do: Milennials (born after 20xx) and Gen X-ers (born 19xx through 20xx)….etc. It’s a very few words to make your point all the more clear, and does nothing to detract readability. I (for one) am turned off by those “authors” on the internet who take for granted that a first-time reader of an article or blog immediately knows what every term means. For that matter, I’m not even sure I have a clear definition of what “Baby Boomer” refers to, specifically. Maybe being born in 1974 doesn’t give me a good perspective on these terms, who knows? But I am a highly intelligent person (or at least think I am), and maybe I’m too cynical and expect writers to practice good writing skills. Or maybe it’s that being a computer programmer, I am a stickler for exactly the right way to say or do something…
    And I can obviously only speak for myself, but I grew up believing in company loyalty. It was something my parents instilled in me – not with words, but with actions. I saw them stay loyal to their employers, and expected it in return. So my mindset was always to position myself this way. Of course, being down-sized/right-sized in your first 2 full-time jobs after college (4 years each) due to company direction changes maybe just makes one a bit cynical too, and perhaps longing for the bit of nostalgia I grew up under. Is it ironic that now I’ve been at my present job (at CSC) 10 years +.

  3. That’s the thing Erik. In computer programming there is a right and a wrong way to do something. A program either runs correctly or it doesn’t – I’m not sure that the same thing applies to interpersonal communications 🙂

    These are the birth years of the different generations:

    Baby Boomers = 1946 – 1964
    Generation X = 1965 – 1980
    Generation Y = 1981 – 1992
    Generation Z = 1993 – present

    Before anyone gets up in arms, yes, the transition years are plus/minus a couple of years depending on which demographers you prefer – though this gives a good feel for the generations we’re talking about.

  4. Max Rockliff says:

    Oh please. Let’s just stop this discussion. No one owes these so called Millenials a living. Why on earth do we have o pander to their particular needs. Employer loyalty has nothing whatsoever to do with Baby Boomers, etc. Maybe it was a thing, but times *were* different then and jobs were more stable so my opinion is that loyalty was a byproduct, not a directive. Yes technology and mobility has come a long way in the past 30 years or so, but being productive and performing work for your employer really hasn’t changed. Organisations are in the business of making money. If employees don’t perform or feel disloyal or jaded with a particular employer they leave, or are force/coerced to leave. Maybe organisations are less inclined, now, to try to coach low performing employees, but that’s a business trend, nothing to do with Millenials. Now companies like Delloites are conducting surveys, universities maybe conducting studies, but that seems to perpetuate the myth that these so-called millennials are the great white hope and we should treat them differently. In my opinion, if you’re not happy at work – move on. No one owes you a living. I wonder how many millennial will be able to travel the world without a decent income?


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