For those of you who want to throw a tomato at my head (gently please) because I’m writing an article about Millennials… slow your roll! Cause I’m gonna drop some knowledge on you that may rock your world just a little bit. Ready?
Turns out Millennials aren’t the most “demanding generation” anymore. Arguably they aren’t the most entitled. Want to know why? Turns out, in the modern workforce, all generations want the same things of our employers. The generational “wants” in the workforce are no longer so broad or stereotypical.
So, to answer the question, is considering millennials the most demanding generation an HR fad or an HR fundamental? This one has now squeaked into the FAD category. However, a solid HR fundamental: if you want to engage your modern workforce, it’s time to stop catering primarily to the Millennials. Now all generations are playing by the same rules and demanding a better experience collectively.
Why this switch?
- The Internet Has Influenced Al of Us. The internet has now been around since the early 1990’s. Yep, that’s 27 year ago. All generations who are still part of the workforce are acclimated to and dependent upon all the freedoms the internet provides us; not just the Millennials. Freedoms including information transparency, access to knowledge, flexibility, speed, and the ability to be heard are status quo for the whole bunch. If your workplace doesn’t offer the same freedoms as the internet > they all walk.
- The Labor Force Composition by Generation Has Evened-Out. Check this out: In 2015 the Labor Force Composition by generations was 34% Millennials, 34% Gen X, and 29 % Boomer. As the Millennial workforce continues to grow, it also continues to integrate and influence other gens. When a Boomer watches a Millennial successfully demand more face-time with a leader and sees success, they do the same. This is now status quo.
- All Generations Are Absorbing Information The Same Way. Used to be Boomers and GenX endured sitting in 4 day trainings, reading long onboarding manuals, and receiving benefits information in a “matrix” that look like it was spawned from Hell. Not anymore. Due to the gargantuan amount of info we all take in, our brains are stretched thin. We’ve been trained (by necessity) to absorb information in bite-sized, easily absorbable ways. All generations are responding to, and therefore demanding, easier ways to get info. One report stated all generations indicated the preferred way to get online content was blogs, images (including video), comments, and ebooks. Short and simple.
.@DawnHBurke says #millennials aren't the only generation demanding change in the workforce. Read this:
Really, this is good news for us all! Now that all generations are playing by the same rules, HR can create strategic programs for the whole. No more second guessing if that Boomer will really want to take a 2-hour online training vs. a live training. No more speculating that feedback on your last employee feedback survey demanding more is just from “Millennial outliers”.
Now HR can stop wasting valuable head-space on “what-if’s” and can start creating programs that provide strategic impact.
As a former VP of People, and Dawn was responsible for finding great talent, developing team members, and preserving company culture - a culture recognized in Fortune Magazine as one of the “50 Best Small and Medium Workplaces.” Recognized as a Top HR Innovator, she is also a speaker, creator of DawnHBurke.com, and a contributor to a variety of national blogs including Fistful Of Talent.