millennials as employees

For millennials, an important condition for choosing an employer or producer is commitment. Engagement understood on many levels. Involving employees or consumers in the organization’s activities, supporting initiatives outside the workplace. For millenials, both perspectives, employees and consumers are put on an equal footing, and companies must maintain balance in planning their activities as part of the mission, bearing in mind that the company’s employees are also the closest consumers. Philip Kotler in “Marketing 3.0” notes that: To sell a mission (…), companies must propose a mission in which they promise transformation, they must create thrilling stories to support it and engage customers to accomplish this mission together.

26904043416_a2e7b1fb08_c.jpgSo what are the expectations generation Y has from their employers? The aforementioned social commitment, at the level of the local community or in a broader perspective, such as Microsoft’s declaration of reducing its carbon footprint from the beginning of the company’s existence. Internal grants that allow groups of close associates to implement projects to improve the quality of life in the immediate area, such as painting classrooms or organizing community vegetable gardens in housing estates or supporting animal shelters, are becoming common practice. An important aspect is the cooperation between employees and the company sponsors the materials needed to implement the action.

17163266906_a25d3d58e9_c.jpgIt should be remembered that the adolescence of millennials and their entering adulthood is a mix of “analog” childhood and “digital” teens. It causes, that generation Y places socialization and building interpersonal relationships very high in the hierarchy of its values. They have the desire to create a kind of family at work, who spends time together not only performing professional duties, but also have fun out of the office. Hence, they enable, support the organization of such meetings by providing space in the office or expanding employer branding teams, whose one task is to build history and develop bonds between the employee and the company, but also between the employees themselves. Employees as the “consumers” of this content are later the best advertisers for new potential job candidates.

Employer branding teams are becoming a necessity for most companies. The actions they take have measurable financial effects. Although their marketing projects aim both current employees and potential candidates, generating cost, ultimately they contribute to lowering higher costs related to finding and employing suitable job candidates. Their goal is to give employees a sense of home from the company they work for. Very often they use social media in their activities. They are to involve employees who eventually become brand ambassadors and provide information on positive actions of the employer further encouraging more people to become candidates for work. New potential employees start to apply themselves, making it is easier and faster to find the right people for the job.

In addition, some companies at the center of their corporate values ​​often put team spirit or, like Salesforce, a philosophy derived from the culture of Hawaii, Ohana, which means a family in which the company includes not only employees, but also customers or suppliers. This shows how much new employees and their approach influence organizations.

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Support is another important element expected by employees and consultancy in the next stages of their professional development. This expectation shows that they want to develop and draw on the experience of elders. It also shows that they expect support in an ever-changing world and advice on how they should evaluate their decisions in the context of their strengths and directions in which they want to go. Ultimately, it shows the need for communication within the organization also in the form of mentorship. Through relationships with someone more experienced, ready to help and seeing, appreciating the employee’s progress. It does not always have to be someone who is much higher in the organizational structure, often the millennials themselves, who have longer experience perform well in these roles. Generation Y sees as an important element of cooperation in companies socialization, which is to take place not only at work, but also outside of it, employees of this age group want to celebrate success together. Both large and small. The most important aspect is the shared positive experience. Nevertheless, employers must pay attention to this element, because it shows millennials, to what extent the company perceives their effort, contribution to achieving a common goal.

An extremely important element in relations with millennials is communication, which should be two-way communication. Generation Y likes to get involved and understand. They want to be sure that the work they do has a positive impact on the company and makes a significant contribution in its functioning. In addition, they are happy to engage in all possible activities and initiatives to improve the functioning of the team. Design thinking sessions are becoming more frequent, during which invited employees of the company with different experiences, from various departments, trying to find solutions to complex problems in the company. One of the important elements of Google’s internal policy is to encourage employees to spend 20% of their time on projects that they think can have a positive impact on Google. This has been happening since the very beginning of the company’s operation. Some of the company’s main products began in this way, AdSense, Google Maps, Google News.

These elements regarding millennials’ approach to work ultimately require a new approach in terms of supervisors who will no longer be required to carry out the project from point A to point B. Managers with millennials should focus on ensuring conditions for cooperation and communication, giving the chance to work out the best path. Although this does not always work, those elements are important for the Y generation such as transparency, listening and collaboration can bring more benefits than using and reproducing patterns.

45064629294_fa6a51fa41_c.jpgThis generation is familiar with technology and can take advantage of the new opportunities it brings. This allows them to perform more tasks and monitor more parallel projects. Task-based work mode provides motivation, but also lets you enjoy your free time. It also creates new niches for project management monitoring programs like Asana, Microsoft Planner, Scoro or monday.com. These elements contribute to the fact that Generation Y is the most productive generation among employees. What seems important from the perspective of employers is to provide them with the right tools to work and make employment forms more flexible.

Articles that inspired text above:

  1. Kotler, H. Kartajaya, I. Setiawan, Marketing 3.0,
  2. Smith, Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030, https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/01/16/microsoft-will-be-carbon-negative-by-2030/
  3. Page, S. Brin, 2004 Founders’ IPO Letter, Google, https://abc.xyz/investor/founders-letters/2004-ipo-letter/

Workplace in the 21st century – Automation impact

The 21st century brought significant changes in jobs around the world including international corporations that experience the technological revolution and the need for continuous innovation every day. This process will be enhanced accelerated by current pandemic. The question arises to what extent technological and digital revolution affect changes in the workplace.

What can be observed is, among others, the flattening of organizational structures. CEOs and senior leadership have a growing group of senior managers who report to them and the development path is shortened. This results in greater transparency in organizations. It also gets large corporations to a more open management model, which Frederic Laloux presents in his book “Reinventing the Organization”, with ultimate model called the turquoise organizations. In those organizations we deal with a much more democratic and an inclusive management model, involving all employees of the company. Thanks to this, communication within such organizations is much clearer and more readable. Open to new ideas and ideas coming from all its members. Hence the success of new methods for collecting ideas and converting them into new products like design thinking. Collecting different perspectives and bringing people together with different experiences in the millennial perspective is seen as a good course of action. Interesting, fun and innovative. The main goal is to ask the right question to solve the right problem. The most famous anecdote is the one about the creation of the iPod. On the one hand, Steve Jobs wanted to create a new portable music player to make money for his company. Ultimately, the question he asked the project team was about how we can change how people experience music. The effect was not just a music player. An online store was created that allowed you to download new music onto your device within a few moments. He created a new model and availability of music in a device that can be taken anywhere in your pocket, focusing on high quality product. This story spoke to millennials and involved young consumers. For Apple, it has laid the foundation for tremendous economic success.

Currently, one of the most important trends affecting the workplace is the digital revolution and the increasingly common work automation in every possible dimension. This applies to both physical and office work. The observed changes show that it creates new development opportunities, although it requires openness from employees and readiness to take on new professional challenges or learn new skills. Peter Drucker noticed this in his book „The Practice of Management”: In fact, the new technology (although displacements of the workforce will certainly arise) will increase employment, especially for highly qualified and well-trained people. (…) They will not eliminate human labor. On the contrary, they will require lots of highly qualified and trained people – managers, to think and plan, and for the design, production, maintenance and management of new tools – well-trained technicians and employees.

Increasingly, people in the their workplace work with robots in various forms from factory machines through tools partially facilitating their work, to computer algorithms that perform repetitive tasks. Thanks to this they leave time for creative and critical thinking processes. Nowadays, more and more employees have to devote time to tasks that require assessment, creativity and decision-making that will not be required from robots doing work. For now, automation focuses on tasks that can be determined by a set of rules in such a way that the algorithm can repeat them, and thus independently check the next items, leaving issues requiring assessment and critical thinking to people. This causes an increase in the demand for employees with exceptional skills or those who are ready for a longer period of training and implementation to deal with such tasks.

As predicted by McKinsey & Company in the analysis of the impact of automation on the workplace, How will automation affect jobs, skills, and wages approximatelly 375 million jobs around the world can be automated by 2030. This represents up to 14% of all professionally active people. This will require them to develop new skills and find a new job.

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In the study, McKinsey focused on analyzing the potential for such transformation, giving information about the directions in which this change is going. Change that is inevitable. The presented study shows that the main elements of work automation relate to issues of repetitive and non-specialized skills. Jobs that can be described in form of procedure, code and repeted by robot. In addition, we are able to predict potential problems and the few will only be directed to people who will have to make decisions or assess a given specific situation.

What puzzles in the results of the analysis of industries most exposed to the risk of automation presented by McKinsey & Company is the fact that they affect the most basic positions. The greatest emphasis should be placed on retraining employees and raising their level of skills in such a way that they can move to better paid positions and not be excluded from the labor market. Factory workers and assembly workers can be replaced by robots carrying out repetitive elements. There is a high risk for trade employees, cashiers, who can be replaced by self-service cash registers and automated stores like AmazonGo. Service desk employees, telemarketers who are replaced by bots supported by self-learning algorithms. Office workers whose task is to enter data into systems or accountants in service centers. An example is Accenture, which by extensively automating the activities delivered to its clients will reach the level of 40,000 automated roles. However, what should you pay attention to, at the same time Accenture increased employment from 492,000 to 505,500. Most of the people from this group have been retrained and is now doing less repetitive work.

Automation on the one hand brings benefits to employees, giving them a chance to develop and acquire new qualifications. It should be remembered that the majority of employees are millennials and employers should care about achieving this group’s aspirations by developing their skills. On the other hand, the employee must still show commitment and a desire to constantly develop, facing the risk of being pushed out of the labor market. This is a very significant risk as shown by the detailed analysis prepared by the Bloomberg agency in the tool in which everyone can check the risk they face in the position held in connection with automation processes.

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FOLLOW THIS LINK TO BLOOMBERG TOOL

What strikes is the large number of positions most exposed to automation with low income, and therefore with low qualifications needed, the progressing process of which may be most affected. It is anticipated that from 2025 most of the work will be done by robots or artificial intelligence. The change is gradual and although the ratio according to which we will rely more and more on automated work will continue to grow, it will not eliminate people’s work completely.

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                                          PEOPLE WORKFORCE VS. ROBOTS RATIO

Another big change resulting from the increasing automation in the workplace is making ways of working more flexible and attracting new experts. Especially in the sectors of new technologies or professional services. We deal more and more often with highly qualified employees available at any time, anywhere on earth, using new technologies and performing work via the Internet, connecting remotely. The task-oriented mode of work allows employees greater freedom of work organization, and thus also gives companies the chance to find employees, they no longer have to live near offices. They can travel provided that the tasks given to them are carried out in a timely manner. It also allows employees to focus on important values ​​outside the company, such as family and friends, their community. Task-oriented mode of work means that if the task is completed, there is no new one or there is a period of downtime, a moment off work will be more motivating, than sitting in the office for no reason. Unless properly planned for training time to upgrade employee skills.

As a result, companies must place great emphasis on maintaining such an extensive employee network, which is no longer shared by shared coffee in the office. Hence the great emphasis on company values, which are very important for building employee-company ties. As Philip Kotler notes in the book Marketing 3.0: Like creative people, companies should start thinking about self-realization that goes beyond material goals. They need to understand what they are and why they do business. They should know what they want to become. All this should be included in corporate missions, visions and values. Profits will be the result of consumers’ appreciation of the efforts of such companies working for the good of community.

 

Articles that inspired text above:

  1. Frederic Laloux, Reinventing the Organization
  2. Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management
  3. Philip Kotler, Marketing 3.0
  4. Chui, S. Lund, P. Gumbel, How will automation affect jobs, skills, and wages?, McKinsey Global Institute, [online], https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/how-will-automation-affect-jobs-skills-and-wages#
  5. Bowles, Is Accenture’s SynOps automation solution a killer app or a job killer?, Diginomica.com, [online], https://diginomica.com/is-accentures-synops-automation-solution-a-killer-app-or-a-job-killer
  6. Whitehouse, M. Rojanasakul, Find Out If Your Job Will Be Automated, bloomberg.com, [online], https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-job-risk/
  7. Chowdhry, Artificial Intelligence To Create 58 Million New Jobs By 2022, Says Report, forbes.com, [online], https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2018/09/18/artificial-intelligence-to-create-58-million-new-jobs-by-2022-says-report/#2124773d4d4b

who are millennials?

Millennials are a generational group that will soon become the largest in terms of the professionally active. Employers looking for employees or producers offering their products are increasingly focusing on them. According to various estimates of companies analyzing economic data, such as KPMG in the 2017 report. In 2020 they will constitute 50% of employees in companies, and by 2030 they will represent 75% of the professionally active.

Different age groups meet in the workplace. The generational divisions presented below are high-level and are not reflected among each individual. However, they show some characteristics and summarize the experience of given age groups.

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Thinking about the very general characteristics millennials as an age group, one can point out that they have more confidence than, for example, generation X. They want to express themselves being open to change. They are often more liberal than previous generations, while becoming less religious. They still have a desire to develop, becoming one of the best-educated generations. On the one hand, they are very eager to use social media, but most of them use the available tools controlling the shared materials through privacy settings. Unlike the Z generation, which often uses new technologies without any limitations.

Bearing in mind the fact that they are becoming the most numerous professional group, we can observe an increasing impact that millennials are beginning to play on the way companies are managed. You can observe how company executives, often representing earlier generations, are trying to adapt to their expectations, and thus change management practices, refreshing design of the offices to meet the needs of the growing number of millenials. Generation Y is one of several groups currently professionally active. Each of them is governed by its own specificity, sets different goals and is guided by different values both at work and in everyday life.

Generation Y during the school period spent time on additional classes and trainings. This is one of the elements that has created in them the habit of continuous learning and continuous development. In addition, it was intensified by their parents, who on the one hand were still busy, went to training cheering, forcing, praising, but also confronting with trainers in situations where they felt that their child had been treated unfairly or missed. They were called helicopter parents. Such actions created a very close relationship, but also sent mixed signals that strengthened the attitude of constant need for recognition and gratification. Parents who, on one hand, are caring, but on the other hand do not give children full freedom of action, they constantly monitor. By forcing teachers to be recognized for their mere participation rather than focusing on their performance.

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They grew up during the technological revolution that facilitated the availability of information and later also goods and services almost in real time. Music that is always available. The revolution of the iPod, which made it easier to enjoy the day with music anywhere, lets you break away from reality. It was easy to collect your favorite songs from online stores sitting at home and rip to one lightweight device. This availability combined with the experience of generation X, which had to wait for hours for its favorite song on the radio to be able to record it on a previously prepared cassette. Wait to rewind movie on a VHS compared to the ease of use of movies on DVD. Amazon, which has taught almost immediate availability by delivering some online shopping even in 2 hours. The emergence of cell phones that made it possible for someone to send a text message or call for an immediate response. Before, you had to try to catch someone at home to answer the phone, which didn’t always work out. Finally, a huge change brought by the appearance of Google search engine. It did two things. On the one hand, it was possible to verify information and check its quality, which allowed to question existing authorities. You didn’t have to take it anymore, now you could find information and form your own opinion in a few seconds. Ultimately, if you could not find information on a given topic just in the search engine you questioned its truthfulness, if there is nothing about it on Google, it means that it does not exist. On the other hand, we have an immediate need fulfilled again. The award comes straight away and you don’t have to wait, search for information in books at home, or go to the library.

Millennials entered the labor market during the economic crisis of 2008, which had its mark on the global economy for nearly a decade. On the one hand, this created greater distrust of state institutions and of big business, which is one of generation Y characteristics. They expect greater change and a more people-centered social approach in decisions made by governments and by business. Nevertheless, they are one of generations that is more optimistic than pessimistic about the future. Since they managed to survive the terrorist attacks on September 9, 2001 in New York and the economic crisis of 2008 they are able to survive everything. It also strengthened two other things, the desire to experience, more importantly experience together.

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Other issue is planning and looking at the future. Millennials saw that both Baby Boomers and generation X, despite hard work and effort, lost homes, cars, and accumulated property. This learned them not to be attached to things and do not try to plan in the long run. They invented the abbreviation YOLO – You Only Live Once. They spend the accumulated funds on travel more often than buying a car or real estate. In addition, as the generation that has the most liberal approach to all differences between people, they expect that future decisions will have social changes in mind. Hence the growing emphasis on reducing the gender pay gap in every sector of the economy. Equal rights for young parents in access to care leave and encouraging especially young fathers to participate more closely in the life of newborn children, allowing both parents to fulfill goals in family life and career. Equal pension rights regardless of gender. Acceptance for social differences resulting from sexual orientation, gender identification. They are looking for a balance between business needs, job responsibilities and willingness to participate in the community and giving more from them through volunteering or spending time under employer’s CSR activities. They want to be part of a community that cares for each other while realizing their professional ambitions.

The development of the internet, during their adolescence, also brought social networking sites that allowed them to keep in touch with the group in which they also want to be when they can’t always be together. This meant that they want to be in touch and have access to all information on a regular basis. They also need such access in the work they undertake. Again, they are the cause of the FOMO phenomenon – Fear of Missing Out. This is an age group that is very creative and wants to look for new solutions, hence new start-ups appearing that want to both meet the needs of the business and fulfill the needs of communities.

In their report ‘Millennials 2019 – Poland’, Deloitte among the presented results of the conducted research shows which aspirations most of the surveyed millennials indicated as key. They list the five biggest ambitions of generation Y:

  1. Make good money / be wealthy
  2. Travel / see the world
  3. Buy your own home
  4. Have children / start a family
  5. Achieve a high professional position

The set of ambitions indicated by the respondents tries to find a balance between professional and personal aspirations. They want to have a sense of self-realization at work, which they share with the Baby Boomers generation, with whom they get along well in the work environment. They try to devote their tasks, learn as much as possible to be able to check yourself and expect rewards in your work. Unlike Baby Boomers, they want to collect their prize faster, without the patience of waiting too long, and when this prize doesn’t come, they know they can take advantage of the offers available and find a job that will give them a sense of appropriate gratification. This is due to the fear of another economic crisis, which may deprive them of the promised retirement measures or material things like homes, cars bought on credit. Importantly, this issue is not always about changing the amount of remuneration, often expectations are about greater freedom at work, more flexible working time, understanding for self-realization outside the company. From a different perspective, generation Y, like generation X, tries to contest reality and expects the workplace or goods providers to carry out its activities within a clearly defined set of values and will stick to it even in more difficult times, confirming its integrity in business. They want to feel that companies, thinking about the financial result, will deliver results in an ethical manner and in accordance with the proclaimed values and declarations included in the mission and vision of the company. Regardless of whether they will deal with them as employees or consumers.

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Literature:

  1. Milenialsi 2019 – Polska. Polskie wyniki globalnego badania „Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, Deloitte, [online], Dostęp w internecie: https://www2.deloitte.com/pl/pl/pages/human-capital/articles/raport-millenialsi-2019.html, (22.11.2019)