By 2020, more than 50% of the workforce will be made up of millennials, a socially confident generation with technology at the forefront of their lives.
Millennials have grown up with a very different political and economic backdrop to Generation X. Scarred from 9/11, the credit crunch and long-term austerity, this generation is riding a wave of uncertainty and, with Brexit still unresolved, it is likely to continue.
Job-for-life an urban myth
So, is it any surprise that millennials move jobs more frequently? For them, a job-for-life is an urban myth. In an ‘on-demand’ world, they are used to instant gratification.
Many employers are frustrated that they have spent time and money recruiting millennials, simply for them to move on every two years. But this is the nature of their career progression, and employers need to address it.
Millennials are independent, resourceful thinkers, and innovative problem solvers who demand development. Businesses can retain them if they are shown an exciting career path. They need challenges, mental stimulation, and the freedom to think laterally and come up with new ways to deliver business goals.
Some employers already do that, encouraging innovation and creative thinking, balanced with learning from the wider team. This creates trust, team spirit, knowledge sharing and a transfer of skills.
Work-life balance is important to millennials – that, and a salary to facilitate their lifestyle. They are less interested in company cars or pensions, and more interested in competitive salaries, working from home and hot-desking, with flexibility and hours that suit them.
So, businesses should prioritise continual development, flexibility in working styles and patterns and engage with their workforce, ensuring they are up to speed with a strong social presence. Millennials should also be given independence and space to innovate.